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munkey
-17th November 2011, 23:11
I had a look at BF's BOA-approved Selection Policy for the 2012 Olympics (http://www.britishfencing.com/uploads/files/british_fencing_olympic_selection_policy_final.pdf ) and it mentions "The Olympic Selectors will be appointed by the Board of British Fencing" effectively to decide who gets the Home Nation places.


Does anyone know if the Olympic selectors have been appointed yet and, if so, who are they? Or if they haven't, when will this happen and how will they be chosen? Just so I know who to send Christmas cards to...

Regards

Sean

graham paul
-18th November 2011, 08:26
Sean,

You may well be able to save on christmas cards, as far as I am aware the Board has not appointed the Olympic selectors.

Alex Newton said in the recent Sword that only fencers with potential for a medal in either 2012 or 2016, would be selected for the London games. This would appear to go against the statement in the Olympic selection document that the qualified fencers with the best chance of success in London, would be selected. Hence even a fencers qualifying via the Zonal selection competition might not go to the Olympics? The qualifying document would have to be rewritten. It would appear that the goal posts are not just being moved, but will be rather closer together. If this does happen, it will be interesting to see how the Board can justify this change as being fair and equitable, but perhaps I am being old fashioned in believing that sport should try to be fair?

If the qualifying system is rewritten, then I would guess that Alex Newton will be the only selector, but possibly with the ‘expert’ body of the Performance Management group to advise? Currently the group has 2 ex fencers, but I know that at least one of them is leaving. Perhaps having knowledge and experience of top level fencing is a disadvantage when it comes to overseeing International fencing?

Graham

rpryer
-18th November 2011, 09:31
Graham - I think the qualifying document only relates to the Home Country places. Any fencer qualifying by right (through their ranking or the zonal qualifier) doesn't need a Home Country place, so would still go.

graham paul
-18th November 2011, 10:10
Graham - I think the qualifying document only relates to the Home Country places. Any fencer qualifying by right (through their ranking or the zonal qualifier) doesn't need a Home Country place, so would still go.

The selection document currently states that any fencer qualifying via the zonal event will be selected. However the Olympic selectors? are resposible for choosing the fencers to compete in the zonal, so may not even pick our strongest fencer, if they are not considered a prospect for a medal. In any case, if the Olympic Selection Policy document is rewritten, it can say anything that the Board want it to say. This could include restricting selection to fencers who have a 'realistic' chance of winning a Gold medal either in 2012 for 2016!!

Graham

munkey
-18th November 2011, 10:44
Hi Graham

Phew! That's a couple of quid saved on Christmas cards. Maybe I should splash out on presents for the Performance Management Group, just in case. Now I tried to find out who was on the PMG by having a look in the Governance and International sections of the BF website but couldn't find anything. Could you tell us who makes up this panel of experts that advises our new PM.

One other thing. If the Olympic Selection Policy is going to be changed presumably it would have to go back to the BOA for approval? Might they not think it a bit strange to amend a published selection policy halfway through the qualifying period? I know that if I had any influence on those kinds of things I'd be asking BF what the hell they were playing at. Of course I don't have any influence at all like, being merely a humble provincial coach and would probably just have to accept any decision with the same kind of fearful silence that our performance athletes have to maintain.

Regards

Sean

graham paul
-18th November 2011, 12:12
Hi Graham

Phew! That's a couple of quid saved on Christmas cards. Maybe I should splash out on presents for the Performance Management Group, just in case. Now I tried to find out who was on the PMG by having a look in the Governance and International sections of the BF website but couldn't find anything. Could you tell us who makes up this panel of experts that advises our new PM.

One other thing. If the Olympic Selection Policy is going to be changed presumably it would have to go back to the BOA for approval? Might they not think it a bit strange to amend a published selection policy halfway through the qualifying period? I know that if I had any influence on those kinds of things I'd be asking BF what the hell they were playing at. Of course I don't have any influence at all like, being merely a humble provincial coach and would probably just have to accept any decision with the same kind of fearful silence that our performance athletes have to maintain.

Regards

Sean

Sean,

I will try to answer your questions as best as I can, but I am not directly involved anymore, as the International committee has been abolished by the board.
After Graham Watts left, nearly a year ago, a Performance Management Group, (PMG) was appointed by the board. It originally consisted of Mike Thornton, Clare Halsted and Piers Martin. As far as I am aware the PMG is still an ad hoc body with no terms of reference etc, and the membership currently is-
Piers Martin, (CEO).
David Teasdale,(Chair of Board).
Helen Cartwright (Sports council rep).
Alex Newton, (Performance Manager).
Johnny Davies (Olympic team 1992).
Clare Halsted (may be resigning due to a conflict of Interest).

Alex Newton has been made responsible for all senior International fencing, and this will include such items as deciding on the way fencers are selected for International competitions, and such decisions as whether it should just be on merit or possibly only on potential. I assume that she then reports to the PMG. There does not appear to hve been any indication of what will happen for the new season that is now fast approaching.

As to the BOA approving any changes to the selection system, I am sure that this will be necessary, but for all I know this may already have happened.

Hope this makes the situation clearer.
Graham

munkey
-18th November 2011, 14:57
Graham

Thank you for taking the time to reply and it certainly makes the situation a lot clearer. The information does worry me a bit though. We've got an ad hoc group with no clear terms of reference seemingly responsible for management of our new Performance Manager (in place for about 6 months with no previous experience of fencing) with just over 8 months to the Olympics. The group of (currently) 6 seems to consist of only 2 people with any real background in fencing, one of those may be resigning and the other hasn't had any major involvement in the sport, that I'm aware of, for nearly 20 (apart from being present at the Junior Worlds in Belfast and the Senior Europeans in Sheffield in a capacity that was unclear to me but did seem to involve a great deal of hand-shaking). The other 4 are the organisation's Chair who has been in place for less than a year, the Performance Manager who has been in place for about 6 months, the CEO who has at least been in place for a few years now and someone from UKSport that I couldn'tg pick out in a crowd of 1.

Am I painting an unfairly negative picture here about the group in BF that seems to have an enormous say in how fencers, who have trained for years to be become the best they possibly can, are or are not selected for the most prestigious and high-profile sporting event ever to be held in the UK? Maybe I am.

graham paul
-18th November 2011, 15:32
Sean,
First a word of warning, it may be that the Performance Management Group has been strengthened without my knowledge, and maybe it does now have terms of reference etc. Perhaps David King, who I know monitors the Forum could enlighten us? Also you must remember that Alex has experience outside Fencing, she was Performance manager at UK Sport, and was at boxing for 3 months. Having said all that, as far as I am aware, your summary of the situation is correct.
Graham

JohnL
-18th November 2011, 17:27
That’s a hell of a lot of power for one person, especially with no knowledge of fencing.
Hell, I’ve flown all over the world, I’ve sat in airports watching planes both take off and land, I’ve even seen the odd air force aerial display. As a side note of my expertise, I have seen a falcon dive, geese flying in formation, and ducks perform a water landing.
However despite the above related experience, I sincerely doubt if ANYONE with a brain would consider me remotely qualified to assess the abilities and potential of the best pilots in the country, never mind have any influence on their selection for the next aerobatic world championships.
The lunatics are clearly running the asylum.