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View Full Version : What will London 2012 mean for British Fencing?



Moby
-6th July 2005, 14:10
Although moving down to London in a very short time, and having to cope with a higher council tax due to getting the OG in 2012, I've supprted the bid for the games in London as I think that it could be the kickstart that a lot of the minor sports like fencing need.

I think that with the home country seen as needing to do well, a lot of government funding will become available to all the Olympic sports and that can only be a good thing for fencing.

I assume that for a realistic prospect of getting medals in those games, then the focus on improving training and competitiveness needs to start now, so that the fencers will be established as striong fencers by 2012. If you look at the way that China has become a force in fencing in recent years, then this needs to be replicated in Britain if possible.

For starters, shouldn't we have full teams in all weapons going to Individual and Team World Cup Events? Funded, if possible, but at least funding referees and entry fees would be a good start.

NLSC Sabreur
-6th July 2005, 14:43
Assuming that there is Olympic fencing in 2012.

A few people will get the money to train full time for a few years.

Afterwards the money will disappear (unless its going to an individual who won an Olympic medal in which case they might get funded till the next games).

Lots of new people will turn up at clubs but are there facilities and coaches to work with them? Generally NO.

China has become a force because of a pathological need to demonstrate China's greatness. Such pathological behaviour was prevalent throughout the old Warsaw pact. What we don't see is the huge number of children cast from their programmes with wrecked education and possibly wrecked bodies. Child protection would (thankfully) stop the kind of training that goes on in some countries. To replicate the China system you have to pick them young based on physiological tests them train very hard and if they break on the way then there are millions more to pick from.

What would have made a huge difference is if the Olympic money had been spent on facilities and their long term funding all around the country rather than on a group of buildings many of which will shortly after be pulled down.

I was in Barcelona a few months ago and the fencing clubs in Spain are generously provided for by the local councils. At the SAM Barcelona club which has its own hall, storage and changing facilities the funding allows them provide fencing for free for a year for a very large number of children. This allows them to recruit children and not adults. If you want Olympic champions you have to start them young. Making sport a real priority for local councils would make a huge difference.

The olympics will be a good thing but not a very big good thing.

ChubbyHubby
-6th July 2005, 15:01
Originally posted by NLSC Sabreur

To replicate the China system you have to pick them young based on physiological tests them train very hard and if they break on the way then there are millions more to pick from.


That's what you have to do to win. There is too much "fencing for fun" around.

They have these regional Sports Institutes where basically athletes of all ages live and train.

The one I've seen first hand was actually on an island in the middle of a river with a single 4 foot wide bridge to the city that it is in. They had basketball, football, fencing and gymastics.

Training in the morning, then classes, a nap then training in late afternoon.

Below the fencing salle was gymastics where there are what must be at least 100 <5 year old kids being trained.

Trainers "helping" them into all sorts of splits etc positions are commonly seen.

But the fencers were happy enough, training was hard but that's school life for the younger ones and way of life for older fencers.

Top students then go on to National centers.

Can't see kids committed enough (or rather parents allow the kids) to do the same here even if facilities are there.

Tennis? maybe, fencing I don't think so.

John Rohde
-6th July 2005, 15:18
Originally posted by ChubbyHubby
That's what you have to do to win. There is too much "fencing for fun" around.
IMHO it's a lot more valuable for the country and at least as valuable and more practical for more of the individuals in it, that sport is available as a recreation. It benefits public health, develops character - pace some competition performances - and gives pleasure to people leading productive, strenuous and busy lives.
Fencing for fun is an excellent idea and there is no reason why excelence and fun can't be combined. East Bloc countries drugged bullied (the Makarenko technique) and pressured children as fodder for a medal-machine for reasons of national prestige. I abhorred it then and I abhor it now and I for one would not want that ethos to be at the heart of British fencing.
The highly committed can use that commitment to help themselves; I see no reason why public resources should used to further their careers rather than to help those less fortunate or those who may have other, more serious priorities.
No one is saving lives by winning medals; that fat child at school who learns to fence for fun, may well have a longer and happier life because of it.

ChubbyHubby
-6th July 2005, 17:18
Originally posted by John Rohde
IMHO it's a lot more valuable for the country and at least as valuable and more practical for more of the individuals in it, that sport is available as a recreation. It benefits public health, develops character - pace some competition performances - and gives pleasure to people leading productive, strenuous and busy lives.
Fencing for fun is an excellent idea and there is no reason why excelence and fun can't be combined.

I am not disagreeing with you here.

All I am saying is that the ratio of excellence/for fun should be adjusted, assuming the total number of fencers go up. You will still have the same number of "for fun" fencers/clubs around.

I am in no way saying people shound not fence for fun. But for the purposes of doing better in fencing on the international competitive stage, the ratio of elite/fun fencers need to be adjusted to have more elite fencers.

Hey, I am a "fence for fun" fencer. That is to say I have no more ambition in fencing as far as competitions go, and I am certainly not stopping anytime soon!

But if medals are want people want they will have do less "fun" and more "excellence"

rory
-6th July 2005, 17:27
No one is saving lives by winning medals; that fat child at school who learns to fence for fun, may well have a longer and happier life because of it.

A bit short sighted.
Medals = exposure = more people taking up the sport = fat kids take it up too.

Marcos
-7th July 2005, 07:22
Originally posted by NLSC Sabreur
Assuming that there is Olympic fencing in 2012.

A few people will get the money to train full time for a few years.

Afterwards the money will disappear (unless its going to an individual who won an Olympic medal in which case they might get funded till the next games).

I was in Barcelona a few months ago and the fencing clubs in Spain are generously provided for by the local councils. At the SAM Barcelona club which has its own hall, storage and changing facilities the funding allows them provide fencing for free for a year for a very large number of children. .

whilst this is possible, I have to say that I don't share all of NLSC's cynicism - and Spain would be a good model to follow.

In preparation for the '92 Olympics, Spain put a good deal of money into long-term sporting infrastructure similar to what NLSC hopes for. The fencing centre in Madrid, and to a degree the facilities in Barcelona, were developed with preparation for the Olympics in mind. The Olympics were a focus that drove the funding in long term infrastructure - no reason why the UK can't do the same.

The question as I see it is whether Fencing will get its share.

There will be a lot of sports sniffing around the honey pot - fencing needs to ensure they get more than its fair share.

Some of this will be politics - the onus is on the BFA, but every individual needs to play its part.

Another will be results.

Marcos
-7th July 2005, 07:29
ps congratulations

hope you'll be feeding the french team haggis the night before the opening ceremony

Glue Boy
-7th July 2005, 10:47
Originally posted by NLSC Sabreur
If you want Olympic champions you have to start them young

But one of our best Olympians was James Williams, he didn't star till he was about 20

NLSC Sabreur
-7th July 2005, 10:58
Originally posted by Glue Boy
But one of our best Olympians was James Williams, he didn't star till he was about 20

But if he had started training at young age?

James Williams greatest assets were his athletic ability and his immense competitive nature. If he had benefited from top class training from a young age then there is every likelyhood that he would been a World or Olympic champion. Vladimir Nazylmov (who has trained Olympic champions in the past) stated that he thought if he had James Williams from a young age then James would have been Olympic champion. That Mr. Williams got so far without all the backup they get in the top European countries could be as fantastic achievement as someone from Russia or Hungary winning the Olympics.

Keith.A.Smith
-8th July 2005, 12:36
I am sure that the BOA and UK Sport and others wil soon hold meetings with all the sports on the olymnpic programme that GBR competes in to see what can be done to help each.

Our next BOA meeting is in November.

Keith