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British Fencing
-3rd August 2011, 10:35
BRITISH FENCING ANNOUNCES 2011 WORLD CHAMPIONSHIPS GBR TEAM
For Catania, Italy - 9th – 16th October 2011

The Great Britain (GBR) Fencing Team selected for the forthcoming World Championships is based on the just announced new World Class Performance programme and also the lessons of the recent European Championships hosted by British Fencing (BF) in Sheffield.

The Team proposed by the Performance Manager, after consultation with the Performance Management Group, was agreed by the International Committee as per the agreed selection document.

Alex Newton said today: “It is important that after the Europeans we challenge the programme and make a step change in culture and standards. This will not only help us to achieve our Gold target in 2012 but cement a performance pathway for the future.”

British Fencing CEO Piers Martin added: “This GBR team sets the tone for the future by raising the bar and solidifying the focus on gold medals which is key to our 3G Strategy”.

The GBR team is supported by UK Sport and Beazley.

The GBR Team for the 2011 World Championships will be:

Chef de Mission: Alex Newton

Support Staff: TBC


MENS FOIL:
Richard Kruse (Q)

Laurence Halsted (Q)

Team TBC (Q), to include Kruse and Halsted

Coach: Ziemek Wojciechowski


WOMENS FOIL:

No individual qualified or selected

Team TBC (Q)

Coach: Maciej Wojtkowiak



MENS SABRE:

Alex O’Connell

James Honeybone

No team qualified or selected

Coach: Jon Salfield



WOMENS SABRE:

Chrystall Nicholl (Q)

Sophie Williams

Team TBC, to include Nicholl and Williams

Coach: Jon Salfield



MENS EPEE:

No individual qualified or selected

No team qualified or selected



WOMENS EPEE:

Corinna Lawrence

No team qualified or selected

Coach: Alex Agrenich

riposteinprime
-3rd August 2011, 10:39
dislike

The Driver
-3rd August 2011, 10:39
dislike

Agree, dislike

British Fencing
-3rd August 2011, 10:41
BRITISH FENCING COMMUNIQUÉ On World Championships Selection

The selections for the World Championship must be seen in the context of the new "3G Strategy" recently launched by the BF Board – GREEN; GROW; GOLD:

Green – being a fit for purpose Governing Body;
Grow – getting more people fencing; and
Gold – winning Gold medals at the Olympic Games (and other events).

In order to achieve the GOLD Objective, our Performance Manager Alex Newton is bringing a focus on solid and consistent support for those athletes who are likely to win a medal in 2012 or who are medal hopes for 2016. The BF Board unanimously supports her plan, which involves inevitably tougher selection standards for international competitions – and smaller
GBR teams in the short term. There will also be a new emphasis on talent development.

In addition, at the June meeting the BF Board agreed that the Performance Manager should be given the responsibility for selection, taking advice from the Performance Management Group and the International Committee. Both Committees include advisors from our partners UK Sport and others with experience of world class performance. Regarding selection for the World Championships 2011, the Performance Manager decided that it was appropriate and right to follow the current agreed and published selection policy for the World Championships to ensure fairness to all athletes.

The current selection policy agreed by the BF Board and published on the BF website was the policy that was adopted in selecting the World Championship 2011 Team.

To make themselves eligible for automatic selection athletes had to meet the following minimum selection standard:

• At least one L8 (or better) result/s, or two L16 results from the following qualifying competitions: the 2010 Senior World Championships/2011 Senior European Championships/FIE Grand Prix/World Cup competitions in the period of 12 months
prior to the selection date

• Notwithstanding the qualifying standard for individual events, any weapon which stands in the top 12 of the world cup team rankings at the relevant selection date or finished in the top eight places in the Senior World or European Championships

As per the agreed and published selection policy the Performance Manager presented the proposals for selection to the International Committee who made the final decisions on the World Championship 2011 Team.

The Athletes / Teams that made automatic selection:

Men’s Foil

- MF Team (to include RK and LH)

- Richard Kruse

- Laurence Halsted


Women’s Foil

- WF Team


Women’s Sabre

- Chrystall Nicholl


In addition based on the 3G Strategy of targeting a medal in 2012 and medals in 2016 the following athletes / teams have also been selected:

Men’s Sabre

- Alex O’Connell – Subject to certain conditions as agreed between the athlete and
Performance Manager

- James Honeybone



Women’s Sabre:

- Sophie Williams

- WS Team (to include CN and SW)



Women’s Epee:

- Corinna Lawrence – Subject to certain conditions as agreed between the athlete and
Performance Manager


Selection for the additional individuals who will make up the Teams in Men’s and Women’s Foil and Women’s Sabre will be decided and announced by mid September.

Highlander
-3rd August 2011, 11:01
Aside from the fact JW is not in the team( which is already subject to great debate )

Why are the fencers selected for the team events not automatically entered into the individual events.
Surely their performance in the team event would be helped by this aclimatisation and competition.

aao
-3rd August 2011, 11:10
Don't expect a discussion from British Fencing reps as they won't engage in it, either publically or privately.

Cyranna's Father
-3rd August 2011, 11:13
Just curious as I am really trying to understand all this

I see that the selection "was agreed by the International Committee as per the agreed selection document" and "The GBR team is supported by UK Sport and Beazley" but did the selection have the full backing of the Board?

Does it not need it?

The Driver
-3rd August 2011, 11:18
Green – being a fit for purpose Governing Body;


I don't understand - where does this correlate with the "inexperienced, naive, gullible" definition I just googled?

HelenC
-3rd August 2011, 11:35
• Notwithstanding the qualifying standard for individual events, any weapon which stands in the top 12 of the world cup team rankings at the relevant selection date or finished in the top eight places in the Senior World or European Championships



Really? That's it? An international selection programme at the highest level, and it fails to include any moderator to enable appropriate standards to be enforced in competitions of eight or fewer entries?

Completely independently from any arguments about who is and is not selected - surely any selection rules which allow a team to be selected solely on the basis of coming last in one competition are not fit for purpose? What indicator of ability does coming eighth out of eight demonstrate? And was nobody involved in drafting these rules capable of imagining a qualifying team competition with only eight participants?

Oh, and one other thing. If British Fencing only wish to fund fencers once they are already genuine medal prospects, fine, that's their prerogative. If they do so, however - DON'T DARE TAKE ANY OF THE CREDIT WHEN THEY DO WIN MEDALS! - that's down to those who got them to "medal potential" status without any BF funding. Taking medal prospects and winning medals with them is easy, compared to taking club fencers and turning them into medal prospects/winners, as with Sue Benney and Phil Marsh.

Helen.

thedoc
-3rd August 2011, 11:56
At least this selection can be considered to be consistent with policy, as opposed to some of those being funded.

However, there are some serious flaws in it to my mind. If the Men's foil team qualify or get selected for the Olympics all three fencers will compete in the individual event. By not selecting a third person for the individual Worlds, they are significantly impacting that person's chance of improving their ranking and hence seeding for the Olympics. This will almost certainly impact their performance too.

The Driver
-3rd August 2011, 11:59
However, there are some serious flaws in it to my mind. If the Men's foil team qualify or get selected for the Olympics all three fencers will compete in the individual event. By not selecting a third person for the individual Worlds, they are significantly impacting that person's chance of improving their ranking and hence seeding for the Olympics. This will almost certainly impact their performance too.

This must be the "Green" management team at work :whistle:

D'Artignan
-3rd August 2011, 12:00
Really? That's it? An international selection programme at the highest level, and it fails to include any moderator to enable appropriate standards to be enforced in competitions of eight or fewer entries?

Completely independently from any arguments about who is and is not selected - surely any selection rules which allow a team to be selected solely on the basis of coming last in one competition are not fit for purpose? What indicator of ability does coming eighth out of eight demonstrate? And was nobody involved in drafting these rules capable of imagining a qualifying team competition with only eight participants?
To be fair to BF (for a change), that bit sounds like it wasn't their decision. It does reek of a funding body requirement, so that they could put as good a PR spin on things as possible*...

Of course, it doesn't alter some of the other seemingly odd decisions made.



*i.e. "Look at how good we are - we got the Women's Foil team into the top 8 at the European Championships. Please don't be interested enough to research how many other teams there were though"

HelenC
-3rd August 2011, 12:33
It does reek of a funding body requirement

Whether it's a BF decision or imposed on them, a selection process which potentially rewards complete failure with selection is not fit for purpose. Neither the sports governing body nor the funding bodies supporting it should make provision for achievement-based selection to reward a complete and total lack of any measurable achievement - the BF shouldn't be seeking to support fencers who have not scaled any selection hurdle and the funding bodies shouldn't be using it as a criteria to fund them.

Until we link selection to objective performance (moderated for value added - Two L16s in the fencer's first season with no BF support showing more potential value than two L16s over several years of funding and professional support) and not PR potential we won't make any progress.

Helen.

D'Artignan
-3rd August 2011, 13:18
There's no point in trying to preach to the converted here Helen. Unfortunately, PR always seems to win when it comes to politics (which this whole Olympic thing ultimately is)

nurrycat
-3rd August 2011, 14:42
<<Grow – getting more people fencing;>>


I am finding it hard to see how clubs will retain the same level of current members with the current selection process in place. And finding it even harder to see how clubs will persuade people to join and continue fencing in the future. People who are new to fencing will not understand 'Yes he/she is UK number 1/2 but they are not good enough to send.'

Ronald Velden
-3rd August 2011, 17:25
The team selection raises very serious issues about the way that the sport is managed and being run.

The message is clear. If you are not selected for individual weapon or mens/womens foil team events at this year's World Championships you are not going to the Olympics.

Basically we are sending Mens Foil Team plus either Womens Foil Team plus two individuals or six individuals from those selected.

I leave it to your imagination how fencers like Louise Bond-Williams, Jo Jo Hutchinson and Jon Willis must feel at this moment.

Gav
-3rd August 2011, 19:22
<<Grow – getting more people fencing;>>


I am finding it hard to see how clubs will retain the same level of current members with the current selection process in place. And finding it even harder to see how clubs will persuade people to join and continue fencing in the future. People who are new to fencing will not understand 'Yes he/she is UK number 1/2 but they are not good enough to send.'

Most people who start fencing don't care about selection. Not at the start anyway, they've got to get good enough to think they have a chance to care. By that time they're hooked and as we know fencing is more addictive than crack. That is, unless you want to constantly complain or point out to beginners that their life in fencing will suck and they will get nowhere because of selection - in which case I would question why you would be trying to get beginners to sign up.

To coin a phrase:

Give me a beginner for a week and I'll give you a fencer for life (or until they get discouraged and get a life at which point I should have more fencers in the pipeline anyway).

Though not as snappy as the jesuits motto.

Let's not make more of this than we have to.

Mr long sword
-3rd August 2011, 19:37
The team selection raises very serious issues about the way that the sport is managed and being run.

The message is clear. If you are not selected for individual weapon or mens/womens foil team events at this year's World Championships you are not going to the Olympics.

Basically we are sending Mens Foil Team plus either Womens Foil Team plus two individuals or six individuals from those selected.

I leave it to your imagination how fencers like Louise Bond-Williams, Jo Jo Hutchinson and Jon Willis must feel at this moment.

I'm glad you mentioned feelings..Those guys plus others are/must feel so let down. They've put in years of blood, sweat n tears only to be side lined in the space of what seems like a few months..
I feel gutted for them..

Aramis
-3rd August 2011, 21:08
This is ridiculous. I really think we are witnessing the implosion of BF.

Threestain
-3rd August 2011, 21:23
something a bit odd - my mum told me she was sad to hear that fencing was losing so many people...

seems it's even reached the south west. though obviously plymouth and truro are bucking the trend massively

cesh_fencing
-3rd August 2011, 21:32
This is ridiculous. I really think we are witnessing the implosion of BF.

And with the treatment many of our best fencers are getting this whole group of fencers are likely to jack it in and pull the plug of any future involvement in fencing, in any capacity.

Look at most of the 45 year old or less, british coaches currently producing the top young fencers, many are fencers who represented GBR at World Championships in the past.

I have to say if this politics was going on then and I had been dropped due to it in this way from world teams, I doubt I would still be involved in the sport and we would then have had probably a couple of thousand less fencers introduced to the sport over the last 10 years...

The long-term damage this will cause the sport is likely to be huge in my mind.

nurrycat
-4th August 2011, 00:15
Most people who start fencing don't care about selection. Not at the start anyway, they've got to get good enough to think they have a chance to care. By that time they're hooked and as we know fencing is more addictive than crack. That is, unless you want to constantly complain or point out to beginners that their life in fencing will suck and they will get nowhere because of selection - in which case I would question why you would be trying to get beginners to sign up.

To coin a phrase:

Give me a beginner for a week and I'll give you a fencer for life (or until they get discouraged and get a life at which point I should have more fencers in the pipeline anyway).

Though not as snappy as the jesuits motto.

Let's not make more of this than we have to.

We will have to agree to disagree. I know people do care about the sport they are about to get involved in/have just got involved in/are involved in and do want to know what the 'improvement'/progression'/'opportunities' path is.

Not keen on the crack anaology though, sorry Gav.

Gav
-4th August 2011, 06:21
We will have to agree to disagree. I know people do care about the sport they are about to get involved in/have just got involved in/are involved in and do want to know what the 'improvement'/progression'/'opportunities' path is.

Not keen on the crack anaology though, sorry Gav.

You think "I" don't care? I do I just don't think you should fill your beginners heads with stuff they don't need to care about. Get them fencing - that's the important part. Same with other random fencers.

nurrycat
-4th August 2011, 07:47
We will have to agree to disagree. I know people do care about the sport they are about to get involved in/have just got involved in/are involved in and do want to know what the 'improvement'/progression'/'opportunities' path is.

Not keen on the crack anaology though, sorry Gav.

Whoops fingers. That would be 'analogy'.

Cheetara
-4th August 2011, 12:36
I'm glad you mentioned feelings..Those guys plus others are/must feel so let down. They've put in years of blood, sweat n tears only to be side lined in the space of what seems like a few months..
I feel gutted for them..

Completely agree, when was the selection cut off date for the Olympics decided on?

C Keef

JohnL
-4th August 2011, 12:43
Having had the initial reaction to the selections I thought I'd post a couple of points on the different weapons;

Women's Foil
As I've said previously, I'd dump the lot, however assuming that BF believe the current funded members of the squad are for development (despite advancing age) what do you do. As they qualified for the team event they send them but apparently no-one is good enough on either an elite funded level or developmental level to be selected for the individual. Well there's a vote of confidence!!
Also, every nation sending a team will have had their fencers in the individual, getting used to fencing other top internationals in competition conditions. And we in our wisdom say, "our women don't need this." In commiting to the WF fencers in this manner they are clearly not considering them worthy of "development" or they would be sent to gain experience in the ind. Further, they are being set up to fail by not fencing in the individual event first.
Even in rugby, which apparently the new PD knows something about, you wouldn't by choice send a new player into the final of the world cup without having got used to the pace of international games by playing in earlier round matches.

Men's Saber
This goes directly to my post on the Eoropeans. If you have 2 fencers that you have funded as development fencers (I.e. you're looking long term) that are good enough to fence in the individual, why are you not adding a team member and entering a team. This would do 2 things;

1. Give the 2 funded fencers additional experience against world class fencers under competition conditions. (What could possibly be more valuable.

2. Give the saber team a chance to improve their world ranking. (This would help in avoiding say the 1-4 seeds in the L16 of a team event. And the 5-8 seeds are eminently more beatable than the 1-4) In NY they took on the USA (ranked 10th) and beat them. All the teams from 1-9 are the powerhouses of world saber fencing. Without regular, extensive, experience of fencing these top internationals, their efforts will be wasted. In the europeans it was stated that the NY result was too late and could not be considered as grounds for entering a MS team (pathetic excuse if I ever heard one) but it sure as hell wasn't too late for the world's.

I said in an earlier post that the jockey on top is holding the holding these guys back and the WC selection merely confirms this.


While we will always agree/disagree about selections made by others, the efforts and direction of the selectors for both the europeans and the worlds beggars belief.

tigger
-4th August 2011, 17:42
Just to clarify the badly worded press release: all fencers selected for the worlds team events will also compete in the individual event.

Also to explain, 'green' refers to the UK sport ratings of ngbs. Red is in crisis, Amber is heading in the right direction, green is on track.

JohnL
-4th August 2011, 18:35
Just to clarify the badly worded press release: all fencers selected for the worlds team events will also compete in the individual event.



WHAT !!!!!
That's one hell of a clarification!!!!!

So that resolves my issues on WF at the WC's. Now all we have to do is get a MS team in!!!!!!!!!

cesh_fencing
-4th August 2011, 21:44
Just to clarify the badly worded press release: all fencers selected for the worlds team events will also compete in the individual event.

Not sure how 'WOMENS FOIL: - No individual qualified or selected' can be deemed as badly worded and meaning those selected for a team go in the individual, or am I taking a quote from elsewhere in the thread?

D'Artignan
-4th August 2011, 21:48
I think that they omitted the word 'yet' after the word 'selected', in which case it would make a bit more sense. That said, it would still be badly worded...

Ronald Velden
-4th August 2011, 22:40
Tigger

I am curious to know why if your interpretation is correct the BFA have not managed after 3 days to correct the wording both on their website and on the Forum.

Obviously if there is a selector's decision to increase the number of participants in individual events that would be a good thing.

Jon since you are National Sabre Coach perhaps you can answer two other questions.

1. Why has the BFA not selected fencers for teams on the designated date of 25th July bearing in mind that there are limited
options particularly in case of Womens Sabre?

2. What are the conditions attached to sending Alex O'Connell to World Championships? This seems a very odd way of making
a selection particularly since there are no World Cups between now and World Championships.

cesh_fencing
-4th August 2011, 22:40
I think that they omitted the word 'yet' after the word 'selected', in which case it would make a bit more sense. That said, it would still be badly worded...

And begs the question even more of how can coming last in the team event at a European Championships then qualify individuals to the Worlds???

I could understand the idea of a WF team doing the worlds to get points to help with seeding in 2012 to improved the extremely slim chances of a medal there, but to give individual places is kicking the likes of JW in the nuts even though he has been shot, stabbed and suffocated by BF and the PD already...

Is life fair? No not always, but in the same way that selectors can take special circumstances into account to allow a fencer/team to qualify for an event (injury etc), surely they can take special circumstances to stop a team being selected so that their selection policy is consistant across the weapons (especially when the criteria is a team L8 when only 8 teams attended).

In the same way as you have to be in the top half or 75% to get points, surely 'qualifying results' for teams should ensure that this type of issue does not happen again by insisting on a top 50% result or even top 75% for it to count as a qualifying result.

Can I just say that I think it is great the WF are getting this chance to prove themselves, but if they can by this freak situation in the selection criteria, surely a number of fencers in other weapons should be given that same fighting chance.

Cyranna's Father
-4th August 2011, 22:51
Ah but Chris - you missed the point....they didnt come "LAST", they came "EIGHTH" which is obviously totally different

we ALL look forward to them showing us what they can REALLY do because surely if they don't "do" some very awkward questions are going to be asked after the event.

D'Artignan
-4th August 2011, 23:00
And begs the question even more of how can coming last in the team event at a European Championships then qualify individuals to the Worlds???

I could understand the idea of a WF team doing the worlds to get points to help with seeding in 2012 to improved the extremely slim chances of a medal there, but to give individual places is kicking the likes of JW in the nuts even though he has been shot, stabbed and suffocated by BF and the PD already...I'll lay my cards on the table here (having totally given up on trying to play Devil's Advocate days ago) and say that if i was in JW's shoes, I would almost certainly have told BF to do one a long time ago. I certainly don't have his patience or determination to prove them wrong.


Is life fair? No not always, but in the same way that selectors can take special circumstances into account to allow a fencer/team to qualify for an event (injury etc), surely they can take special circumstances to stop a team being selected so that their selection policy is consistant across the weapons (especially when the criteria is a team L8 when only 8 teams attended).

In the same way as you have to be in the top half or 75% to get points, surely 'qualifying results' for teams should ensure that this type of issue does not happen again by insisting on a top 50% result or even top 75% for it to count as a qualifying result.

Can I just say that I think it is great the WF are getting this chance to prove themselves, but if they can by this freak situation in the selection criteria, surely a number of fencers in other weapons should be given that same fighting chance.Hear, hear.

I think that the IC have really shot themselves in the foot (when they were loading up to shoot the fencers in the back?) with a lot of their selection decisions recently. The funding decisions I can see why they came to most of tbh, but some were a little strange to say the least. I don't see why they couldn't have waited until after the Euros and Worlds to see the results from them (sending full allocations of course) and deciding then.

Cyranna's Father
-4th August 2011, 23:08
I don't see why they couldn't have waited until after the Euros and Worlds to see the results from them (sending full allocations of course) and deciding then.

Waiting til after the Olympics would have been even better - use the best we have and motivate the hell out of them (as if performing at Home won't do that) THEN consolidate changes that have been properly thought through over the next 12 months. I cant see anything changing before 2012 to realistically affect GB medal prospects - just run with it and plan properly for 2020 using 2016 as a staging/testing point.

D'Artignan
-4th August 2011, 23:21
Waiting til after the Olympics would have been even better - use the best we have and motivate the hell out of them (as if performing at Home won't do that) THEN consolidate changes that have been properly thought through over the next 12 months. I cant see anything changing before 2012 to realistically affect GB medal prospects - just run with it and plan properly for 2020 using 2016 as a staging/testing point.I suspect that the IC will have been told to be seen to be getting rid of under performers ASAP to streamline the funding. That said, I don't see any reason for the funding bodies to dismiss an appeal to wait a couple of months to make those decisions, given how important the Euros and WC are to Olympic qualification, especially with Zonals having GP points and the WC having even more. I'd have made the case (repeatedly) that good results from these would make it far easier to qualify automatically (also proving our guys can handle the big occasions) and maximising our chances of reaching the stated targets.

Of course if it had gone tits up after the World's, the fencers will have had no real reason for complaint, and the IC would probably have been given far less (deserved in some cases) flak...

Cyranna's Father
-4th August 2011, 23:29
The way that things have been done, if nothing changes there is a very real prospect of a lot of people looking at the performance team in Autumn 2012 & saying "ok, you made your stand....now where is this gold medal you were going to get?" and then wondering loudly if people who made such decisions/commitments in such a rushed way should continue making them after failure.

Whereas if they had sent the best we had and given them all possible support and the athletes had still not delivered reasonable results then the admin team would be clean and clear to continue on their chosen path.

D'Artignan
-4th August 2011, 23:39
I see what you're saying, but with a limited pot of money, and obviously some focus on 2016 (plus, in some cases I think, 2020) there pretty much had to be some culling of funding to some of the fencers at some point before the OG. Quite why they couldn't wait till the last of the major championships were over, I don't understand. Or, at the very least, say to the fencers most likely to lose funding, that unless they get results at the Euros and WCs, they would definitely lose their funding. But, at least give them the chance to fence at the majors, and fill up our allocations.

Cyranna's Father
-5th August 2011, 00:18
Being still "newish" to fencing I dont reallt understand how the funding position affects us sending our best to our own capital city for the OG but I'm certain that I'll work it out.

It occurs to me that if the PT keep to their current track they could be on a hiding to nothing - if the guys (non-gender speak :) ) do well then they wont get any credit BUT if the guys do badly then the PT will get ALL the blame.

Thats not a situation that many people would be brave enough to put themselves in.

WhatEveryoneIsThinking
-5th August 2011, 11:44
Just to clarify the badly worded press release: all fencers selected for the worlds team events will also compete in the individual event.

Is this official now? as the British Fencing website is still saying "No individual qualified or selected" for WF team.

jimcrawfurd
-5th August 2011, 21:51
Seriously unimpressed with the selection policy, but no surprise after the Europeans. It must be absolutely gutting for those who have trained their hearts out and aren't being given a fair chance to compete for an olympic place, whilst seeing fencers below them in UK and world rankings being given wild-card selections just because they are younger. Above all, seeing all those empty places for a World Champs in Europe is just painful. BF sent full teams to World Champs for years back in the days when we had "talented amateurs", without any genuine hope of medals. Now we have more funding than in the past, significant numbers of "semi-professional" fencers who train far harder than their predecessors, far more support for those fencers and we may well be sending half a team at most.
I can appreciate the argument for what is being done, but I can't see that now is the time to do it, and on such a short timescale - this is heavyhanded and entirely uncalled-for maltreatment of some very committed and talented people who have made huge sacrifices to chase an olympic dream. They have always known that they might not make the grade, but to be denied a key opportunity to challenge for a place, purely on political/rhetorical grounds, is going to be heartbreaking and create a lot of bitterness in what is still a relatively small world (UK fencing). Above all, it is too late in the day for such a change of policy to make any (positive) difference to results in London 2012.
The time to make these dramatic changes should have been immediately post-2012, and the right time to judge them will be Rio 2016 at the earliest. They may work in the long run, but they are certainly not helpful at this stage in the Olympic cycle.
The wording of the announcements from BF themselves makes it clear that these decisions have been made by the new PD, with support of sponsors/ UK sport, but also state clearly that the board "unaminously supported her plan". As always, those of us not on the board will have to guess whether this support was spontaneous and wholehearted, or whether it was grudgingly extracted on an "accept this or ALL your funding is removed" basis. The board is made up primarily of those who love fencing, have given unstintingly to the sport, and who are personal friends of many of those fencers who are missing out on selection. I would hate to see a vote of no confidence in the board if they were rail-roaded into accepting this proposal; does the constitution allow for a vote of no confidence in the PD or CEO, or even just a vote of no confidence in the selection policy?

Highlander
-5th August 2011, 23:34
How can we as a fencing comunity
force the Bfa to send full teams to the worlds

Can we force an EGM in time
and if so, how?

If we don't send full teams to the worlds
i can see the downfull of the BFA
because if they won't send our best to the worlds in an Olympic year
we are paying our BFA membership fees
having all these competitions ranking points etc

FOR NOTHING

aao
-5th August 2011, 23:46
Agree with all the sentiments that the BFA's selection decisions are illogical and in my humble opinion frankly irresponsible for the future of the sport in both the short and long term.

can something be done? yes it can. The Agm provides a platform to start redrrssing the balance. More details will.follow in the coming weeks but there is a way out of this.

dtd
-6th August 2011, 12:41
can something be done? yes it can. The Agm provides a platform to start redrrssing the balance. More details will.follow in the coming weeks but there is a way out of this.

A long time to wait, the AGM isn't scheduled until 29th October. (The same weekend as the Allstar Cup) Also just a little late to influence the World Team Selection ........

Maybe time to bump the Board Elections thread?

Nomination forms have to be in by 20th August.

Qualifying date to be a member of BFA to have a vote is 5th September. I know a few parents have talked about applying for membership for the voting rights.

aao
-9th August 2011, 22:55
Before the AGM there is little that can be done by the members apart from be generally supportive and hope that the fencers appeals are successful. The election of a new board member will not change anything (even if it is me) because officially the new board member will not join the board till the completion of the AGM, and even if they do the balance of power on the board will stay much as it is (i.e. those who apparantly supported the decisions are not the ones who will be leaving the board by rotation).

munkey
-3rd September 2011, 13:12
WE team appeal apparently successful. Team to be announced next week. Presumably other teams to be announced at the same time. Don't know about any individual appeals.

nurrycat
-3rd September 2011, 16:43
WE team appeal apparently successful. Team to be announced next week. Presumably other teams to be announced at the same time. Don't know about any individual appeals.

That's the first bit of good news I have read in what seems like ages since this all started. Thanks for posting.

monobrow
-4th September 2011, 08:33
I'm pleased for them. They actually had a qualifying result this year in South America. I would have been really surprised if their appeal was rejected.

munkey
-9th September 2011, 05:12
Additional team members added. http://www.britishfencing.com/news/notices/?n=379

Jon Willis selected for ME
A full women's epee team of Corinna Lawrence, Georgina Usher, Sissi Albini and Jenny McGeever (1, 2, 3 and 6 in the GB rankings)
MF team added to: Richard Kruse and Laurence Halsted qualified as individuals, Jamie Kenber and Ed Jefferies added with James Davis as reserve (1, 2, 3 and 6 in GB rankings selected, no. 5 reserve).
The women's foil team to be announced at a later date (how much later and why?)

Personally I'm massively disappointed for Keith Cook who was only selected for 2 World Cups this season (after a lot of pressure) compared with 6 to 8 for others and yet sits comfortably in 4th. I'd like to post more about this but am too angry to be certain of making myself clear.

rory
-9th September 2011, 07:29
That's great news for those selected.
Gutted for Cookie though.

Lefty Foilist
-9th September 2011, 19:14
More news, Phillip Marsh has been invited to go to the Worlds as an observer/sparring partner to JW.
Considering all the arguments of giving our Junior World Champ a chance at the Senior Worlds and the risks of throwing him in at the deep end, I think it's fair enough.

aao
-9th September 2011, 20:09
Good that Phillip can go, but very short sighted not to let him fence in my opinion, he had plenty of time to watch the senior Euros from the sidelines, dominated the Essex Open (featuring a reasonable number of current and former international fencers) and seems more than ready to be given to chance to fence at the highest level, why not let him fence?

Mellish
-10th September 2011, 11:43
What?? He's not fencing? They're mad. How do they expect our best fencers to get the international competition exposure they need to be able to compete comfortably - without nerves, knowing what is happening, knowing the opponents, with a bigger crowd on the side, and even some media? They each need several years of international experience. Also just to motivate them to keep going. This isn't boxing - it isn't a career path - it's all pro bono, and amateurs need support not a teeth-kicking (or punching as the case may be).

The selection decisions for mens epee WILL NOT improve our fencers. It is damaging to epee.

Btw - I can't vote because I haven't got the security codes, or any details in the post. I assume it will come, but is there a consensus view about which candidate will absolutely support a full set of top individuals and a GB team going to ALL international events?

madfencer
-10th September 2011, 18:51
Btw - I can't vote because I haven't got the security codes, or any details in the post. I assume it will come, but is there a consensus view about which candidate will absolutely support a full set of top individuals and a GB team going to ALL international events?

Check your email - all the voting stuff and manifestos were done online. Check your junk mail too :) And I think both candidates were pushing for that.

aao
-10th September 2011, 22:49
but is there a consensus view about which candidate will absolutely support a full set of top individuals and a GB team going to ALL international events?

I 100% do for senior international events in Olympic qualifying years and for domestically hosted international events at all levels (e.ge Europeans in Sheffield).
In non Olympic qualifying years as long as we have clear, logical and viable qualifying criteria I think the IC/PD (whoever they may be at the time) should take the lead on this. In principle I would like to see as many fencers at top events as possible but it is hard to be more commital without knowing the exact demands that our funding 'partners' put on us.
In the case of someone like Phillip Marsh, if we have a junior World/European champion in any weapon we should make every effort to allow them to compete at senior Worlds etc, I see absolutely no logic in not letting someone like him experience fencing at that level, expecially if we are already not using all the places we have in the team. If you are good enough you are old enough, and frankly I think a Junior World Champion is probably more than good enough to be given opportunities at the highest level.

madfencer
-11th September 2011, 11:45
Can we have a statement from Jon Williams on this topic too please?

fenderstrat
-11th September 2011, 11:55
Which one? The guitarist or the composer?

Mellish
-11th September 2011, 14:38
Looked in my junk mail as suggested (thanks) and can see the candidates. I'm worried about aspects of Jon Williams' statement:

"[He has] more recently worked closely with current members of the British Fencing Board to address key weaknesses in the approach to performance... [His] initial focus would be in support of the 'Gold' objective of the board, specifically...Establishing a professional and challenging approach for our world class athletes".

It looks like maybe he helped architect the current selection disaster?!

Unless Jon can reassure us that he will categorically support a full team of international fencers wherever this is possible to international events - I'm pushing the Alp button.

Mellish
-11th September 2011, 15:04
I 100% do for senior international events in Olympic qualifying years and for domestically hosted international events at all levels (e.ge Europeans in Sheffield).
In non Olympic qualifying years as long as we have clear, logical and viable qualifying criteria I think the IC/PD (whoever they may be at the time) should take the lead on this. In principle I would like to see as many fencers at top events as possible but it is hard to be more commital without knowing the exact demands that our funding 'partners' put on us. .

Hmmm... Alp, I don't get the difference between supporting senior fencing in Olympic years and non-Olympic years. You want to help them in Olympic years but not in other years? If you roll-over for government funding bodies then we are doomed. If there's no potential election feel-good impact they won't give us anything more than a few crumbs and, because people don't watch fencing on TV, you're not playing with a very good hand to start with.

It's been said here before, that a significant element of the foil teams' success is Jemek - and of course the very hard work of the individuals themselves (and the good will of the Landsdowne club regarding facilities.) NOT the contribution of government funding body policies or people with experience in other sports with a very different performance profile. These people seem to on course to wreak our sport - if you let them.

The number one priority of our sport is OUR sport. A robust national sport, such as fencing is, should be represented at international events - end of story. We need need to expose as many of our fencers to international events as we can to ensure they know what top class is and are in the game. What - do we cut them from the competition bottom even before they get there??

The way I see it there's two options: over the next few very tight years funding-wise we can be screwed and have our sport held back by a decade - or we can be screwed and have our sport still heading in the right direction.

WhatEveryoneIsThinking
-11th September 2011, 15:30
Looked in my junk mail as suggested (thanks) and can see the candidates. I'm worried about aspects of Jon Williams' statement:

"[He has] more recently worked closely with current members of the British Fencing Board to address key weaknesses in the approach to performance... [His] initial focus would be in support of the 'Gold' objective of the board, specifically...Establishing a professional and challenging approach for our world class athletes".

It looks like maybe he helped architect the current selection disaster?!

Unless Jon can reassure us that he will categorically support a full team of international fencers wherever this is possible to international events - I'm pushing the Alp button.

Looks like a put up job from the current executive then to help them control the board.

aao
-11th September 2011, 15:31
Hmmm... Alp, I don't get the difference between supporting senior fencing in Olympic years and non-Olympic years. You want to help them in Olympic years but not in other years? If you roll-over for government funding bodies then we are doomed. If there's no potential election feel-good impact they won't give us anything more than a few crumbs and, because people don't watch fencing on TV, you're not playing with a very good hand to start with.

The difference is one of information to be honest, I absolutely believe that irrespective of whether the funding bodies are in favour or not we should ensure as many people as possible have the best possible chance to qualify for the Olympics, not sending them or allowing them to compete significantly restricts their chance. This for me is something crucial.

In non olympic qualifying years I would need to fully understand where the BFA stands with regards to its funding agreements, if you read back over my postings I am far from being prepared to compromise the sport just to meet the illogical wishes of external funding partners, however I would need to understand all sides of the story before saying yes we should send full teams to every event. I have heard some interesting arguments from both sides regarding this issue, and my priority would be for us to have a system that is logical, fair, transparent and believed in by the fencers & coaches alike who fence or are looking to fence internationally. The current set up is just a mess, and one which needs sorting as a priority.

aao
-11th September 2011, 15:37
One thing I add would be that maybe funding would be a better method of sorting international selection, for example if we did say we were going to send full teams to every event, those who hit certain qualifying standards would have their costs paid for when going to the worlds/Europeans etc, those who didn't but who qualified through ranking (world or domestic) could go but would have to fund themselves.

There are many systems that could be used to make the international system better, but we need to know all the facts before deciding which one is the best. (one of the most pertinent facts will be exaclty how much money will we still have post 2012, we seem to spend more on wages now then we generate through membership income, and if our funding is slashed like we all think it will, what will we actually be able to afford past 2012)

drb
-11th September 2011, 17:35
Could the candidates declare any conflict of interests regarding selection policies pertaining to themselves or family members please?

D'Artignan
-11th September 2011, 17:57
I believe they already have... :whistle:

Mellish
-11th September 2011, 18:18
One thing I add would be that maybe funding would be a better method of sorting international selection, for example if we did say we were going to send full teams to every event, those who hit certain qualifying standards would have their costs paid for when going to the worlds/Europeans etc, those who didn't but who qualified through ranking (world or domestic) could go but would have to fund themselves.


This is spot on: my understanding is that now, for example, if Tom Bennett or Nick Perry were perfectly willing to pay their way to Sicily - they would be told 'No no no'. Which to me makes no sense at all.

I think your statement on admin overheads was right - it's better to put funding into fencers with potential than staff. Also, membership processing need to be automated - then the BF should consider the French membership system which hits more than just the competitive fencers. All those beginners who stay six months - they should be on the membership database to be enticed back into the sport. Our struggling clubs need it!