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coachcarson
-26th February 2007, 08:50
What plans or activities are in place to ensure that British Fencing benefits as a whole beyond 2012. Will we be able to retain the venue as a national centre for fencing? Will we sustain our development programmes beyond 2012? How much impact on the sport will the olympics have in terms of marketing and broadening the appeal of the sport? Are the regions/clubs prepared to take best advantage of the current investments and the showcase opportunity?

MRWFFC
-26th February 2007, 09:47
I am rather concerned about the olympic legacy for fencing in the UK.

I think there may be a benefit for London, and possibly other parts of the south/south east, but I doubt that there will be very much benefit for fencing up here in a small town north of Edinburgh (albeit one that has produced 10 GB age group champions and 64 other GB age group medalists since 2001).

Of course there is no reason why fencing up here should benefit, but my concern is that fencing in outlying parts of the UK may actually suffer over the next few years as resources become focused on London and the olympics.

I hope that any potential benefits for the UK as a whole will be communicated quickly and openly so that we can all take advantage of any opportunities that do arise.


Will we be able to retain the venue as a national centre for fencing?

Unlikely I think, as fencing will probably be only one of several sports to use the olympic venue, but perhaps Keith Smith or someone else can give an answer.
However some regional centres may have more long term benefit. At the moment in the UK there are strong fencing communities in some quite far flung parts of the UK, Truro, Shetland, Durham (and other parts of the NE), Plymouth, and my own Dunfermline/West Fife to name just a few.
I dont see how a national fencing centre in London will provide much benefit for these groups

hokers
-26th February 2007, 09:48
I may be remembering wrong, but I thought the fencing was going to be held in a multi-purpose facility rather than a dedicated venue, in which case there's nothing to inherit

Boo Boo
-26th February 2007, 10:36
I may be remembering wrong, but I thought the fencing was going to be held in a multi-purpose facility rather than a dedicated venue, in which case there's nothing to inherit

Although coachcarson raises an excellent point :)

Although primarily any Olympics is about giving our athletes the support that can help them achieve their full potential and have a real shot at the medals. The great thing about staging an Olympics in our own country should be gaining some longer term benefits for both competitive and recreational sports people in this country.

I too wonder what the BFA envisages for October 2012 and beyond.

Boo

Boo Boo
-26th February 2007, 10:47
(oops... meant to edit the above post to add this, but ran out of editing time...)

One concern that I have is a continuity of skills and expertise beyond 2012. In particular those "key volunteer officials" like the BFA President: what I really would not like to see is a "Presidential Term" running from October 2008 until October 2012... I think we need something like "2010 until 2014" (to ensure that the BFA has continuity of management through a potentially sticky post-Olympic transition period). I don't know how long presidential terms are these days and when we are currently due to re-elect? Something similar regarding Performance Director would also make sense - another member of key personnel that you don't want to change in October 2012...

Boo

NLSC Sabreur
-26th February 2007, 11:02
(oops... meant to edit the above post to add this, but ran out of editing time...)

One concern that I have is a continuity of skills and expertise beyond 2012. In particular those "key volunteer officials" like the BFA President: what I really would not like to see is a "Presidential Term" running from October 2008 until October 2012... I think we need something like "2010 until 2014" (to ensure that the BFA has continuity of management through a potentially sticky post-Olympic transition period). I don't know how long presidential terms are these days and when we are currently due to re-elect? Something similar regarding Performance Director would also make sense - another member of key personnel that you don't want to change in October 2012...

Boo

With all the money disappearing after the games there wont be the money to keep paying personnel. Without ongoing funding after the games it will all be anti-climatic and I suspect that individuals will wish to move on. Unless individuals are really keen to continue until 2016 I think that it would be better if they move on after a short period of transition. Whatever money is available for elite fencing will targeted at fencers going to the olympics so it will be the olympic cycle that matters. 2014 is in the middle of the cycle and changes then could be disruptive.

Rdb811
-26th February 2007, 11:10
(oops... meant to edit the above post to add this, but ran out of editing time...)

One concern that I have is a continuity of skills and expertise beyond 2012. In particular those "key volunteer officials" like the BFA President: what I really would not like to see is a "Presidential Term" running from October 2008 until October 2012... I think we need something like "2010 until 2014" (to ensure that the BFA has continuity of management through a potentially sticky post-Olympic transition period). I don't know how long presidential terms are these days and when we are currently due to re-elect? Something similar regarding Performance Director would also make sense - another member of key personnel that you don't want to change in October 2012...

Boo


From memory the BFA Presidentail terms run between Olympiads (or just after).

NLSC Sabreur
-26th February 2007, 11:31
In the answer to the original post, it doesn't look good. The key problems are affordable/any venues and lack of coaches. Lack of venues are the result of general lack of investment in facilities by central and local government. England Fencing had a plan to increase the number of coaches but funding disappeared to the olympics.

The olympics may bring huge interest but which clubs out there will have the ability to expand and suitably cater for this? Clubs could decide that with applications greatly exceeding supply they could only allow in those considered suitably young and athletic. This would certainly help standards in the sport but I don't think that many clubs wish/or able/or can do this?

Any surge of interest form the olympics will not last so advantage has to be taken within a year. As no one can predict how successful British fencers will be (the only like bet is no medals - which is not what we are hoping for) you can plan before the games but can't be sure of anything. Any expansion in numbers also requires more equipment. Money for equipment can be found from fund raising or grants but it takes time.

Other sports are also going to be looking for a boost. What if there are several badmington medals? Badmington is often a competitor vs. fencing for space in sports halls.

Boo Boo
-26th February 2007, 11:34
With all the money disappearing after the games there wont be the money to keep paying personnel.

Yes, that certainly applies to paid personnel. That is something that may, or may not, be outside of the BFA's control: if beyond 2012 there is no money for paid personnel, then it will be impossible to retain them...

The PD may or may not be an issue here... There was some talk, on another thread, of the BFA looking at hiring a full-time PD (after the Beijing qualifying finished). So that post may or may not be a volunteer post in 2012...


Without ongoing funding after the games it will all be anti-climatic and I suspect that individuals will wish to move on.

Yes, this is my concern. Particularly key individuals.


Unless individuals are really keen to continue until 2016 I think that it would be better if they move on after a short period of transition.

I can see where you are coming from, but my concern is the possibility of a "consumer culture" now and then people leaving in October 2012.

At the moment we have one part-time volunteer PD (who is an incredibly busy full-time professional) who is reponsible for not only managing a bunch of talented fencers, but also for continuing to raise and secure funding for British Fencing (hopefully beyond 2012). As we get closer and closer to 2012, PDing the fencers (and additional Olympic Responsibilities) will take up more and more time and effort - I would guess more than a part-time volunteer role could manage. It is only natural that raising funding for beyond 2012 will slip to the back of the PD's busy schedule.

I guess that I am hoping that the BFA seriously begin to consider the Change Management of a difficult transition time (i.e. beyond 2012) now, before things get even more hectic in 2008 and then the run-up to 2012. A stable management that are looking beyond 2012, for some time before the Olympics, could help ensure a smoother transition.


Whatever money is available for elite fencing will targeted at fencers going to the olympics so it will be the olympic cycle that matters.

Yes, as I stated above - that is definitely the primary concern. Although if there are any ways to increase the


2014 is in the middle of the cycle and changes then could be disruptive.

Very true. Then maybe because of the "specialness" of this transition, the BFA should really be looking at an extended Olympic Term for key personnel - i.e. "2010 until 2016". Maybe that is a suitable "presidential term" and maybe the BFA could look at encouraging a PD for that sort of term also. Ok, that is just A suggestion... there must be a number of ways for smoothing transitions...

Boo

Cottontail
-26th February 2007, 15:32
I heard on the TV that the fencing venue was going to be flattened after the games (not the only one to suffer this fate). A rather expensive temporary structure presumably regarded as surplus to requirements.

Saxon
-26th February 2007, 15:56
Why should we expect everything to be provided for us?

It is up to all of us to make the most of whatever publicity we get. There may not be anything resulting directly at a local, regional or national level, but why should that mean fencing has any less chance to improve than any other sport? Take the publicity, take the lead-up funding (ho ho), use it where you can, and if there's anything continuing after the Games, then so much the better.

The recent problems with the incompetent funding body that is Sport England should teach you never to rely on getting big lumps of money for such a (currently) minority sport. Take what does come your way, make the most of it, and most of all (falling on deaf ears here) puh-leease don't just stomp on it before it starts.

Baldric
-26th February 2007, 16:05
In the answer to the original post, it doesn't look good. The key problems are affordable/any venues and lack of coaches. Lack of venues are the result of general lack of investment in facilities by central and local government. England Fencing had a plan to increase the number of coaches but funding disappeared to the olympics.



It may vary regionally. In this part of the world (central south) we have plenty of venues, many of them reasonably priced.

What we lack is coaches, or more generally "fencing capacity"

I am not sure that you could characterise Englands ambitions regarding coach development as a "plan". As I understand it, the intention is to create a framework to make it as simple as possible for coaches to qualify, and provide a limited amount of financial support, via the regions, to support local coach education initiatives.

We could discuss how effective this has been, and certainly it has not been as smooth as most of us would have liked.

However the core intent still remains, and the loss of funding is a bit of a red-herring. Not all of the £30k that EF lost was going into coach education, and the £30k is a drop in the ocean compared to the funding that can be accessed locally via Regional Sports funders and County Sports Partnerships. Funds from these sources could run into £millions.

This money can only be accessed at a local level - it will never be given to a NGB. This means that the pro-activity has to come from the regional or county or even club structures, not from the centre. The nature of the system also means that some areas will benefit far more than others.

The danger that I can see is that most people in the sport expect BF or EF to take the lead in maximising the 2012 legacy.

It's not BF's job - their job is to take the UK Sport elite funding, and convert it into medals. Of course, if they do achieve this, the potential legacy increases, but the actual work of realising the potential just becomes greater.

Similarly, EF has no real power to act directly, except in an advisory capacity, and in terms of providing encouragement. The power to cash in on the legacy is at region/county/club level. Specifically, clubs need to start the process of upgrading their infrastructure in terms of increasing the number of trained coaches, improving the quality and amount of kit and equipment, finding better venues (I appreciate that this is hard in London, but it isn't in the provinces) and increasing their membership capacity.

Regions and counties need to work in conjunction with their affiliated clubs
to organise those things (like coach ed courses) that are better done co-operatively, and to ensure that the local competition scene keeps pace with increasing numbers. They can also help access funding for the clubs ambitions, and organise training for volunteers in associated skills like comp organisation, reffing and armoury.

None of these things offer the "silver bullet" solution so beloved of politicians (and forum posters), but to my mind its the only way to capitalise on the so called 2012 legacy - which really just boils down to a PR opportunity.

If every club 1) worked to maximise their existing capacity and then 2) worked to increase that capacity by 10% per year, then we would do much better than expecting Keith Smith or John Ramsay to wave a magic wand.

Baldric

[edit. Saxon beat me to it, and was more succinct. As usual!]

coachcarson
-26th February 2007, 16:26
Nicely put Baldric. I do see 2012 as real opportunity for fencers to be entrepreneurial around how they get the most out of the spectacle. And if there is no strategy at national level to capitalise on it, then there's nothing to stop others working to benefit their own club/region/sport beyond 2012. I think it regrettable that there won't be a fencing centre in London because I think there are loads of people here who do extremely well despite the current conditions of having no access to full time training facilities.

gbm
-26th February 2007, 16:27
According to the 2012 website Fencing will be in the Velodrome (?).

I think (confusing web sites) that this is one of three 'multi-sports arenas', and that the other two will be dismantled after the games and shipped to other parts of the country.

The good thing about fencing is that we really don't need specialist venues to fence - just a big space enclosed well-lit space to put some carpet down (for A grades at at least).

hokers
-26th February 2007, 18:55
Carpet? It's been a long time since I fenced on that...

gbm
-26th February 2007, 23:03
Carpet? It's been a long time since I fenced on that...

Coloured carpet. They put the pistes down on top obviously.
(this may only be true for the later stages of A-grades or possibly Grand Prix events, but for the Olympics I assume they will only the 4 pistes in different colours and maybe a raised central finals piste)

Keith.A.Smith
-27th February 2007, 21:59
Dear All,

Glad to see Boo Boo is already looking to after 2012.

At present I am very busy securing funding for BFA till 2012. It is Graham Watts and myself who have done the negotiating for the Pathway Funding etc from UK Sport.

Presidential terms are 4 years and the next elections will be in 2008. I will state now that I will be standing again in 20O8 and if people elect me will be happy to serve till at least 2012. At that point I will have been President for 12 years. At this stage I have no intention of just deserting fencing. I will by then have invested enormous amounts of time and energy into our sport and would wish to see it continue to progress but equally people might well feel it is time for a change of direction.(they might feel that before then, but I admit I hope not).

At present I am very busy negotiating with LOCOG about potential legacy projects and we have several ideas. I am also in negoatiations with the Youth Sport Trust to gain annual funding to support Youth Development and competition and have secured a partner for BFA in the form of SABMiller and we will have to see how this progresses but I have indicated media and pr, sponsorship and good governance are all areas we want to look at.

Our succesful inclusion in the UK School Games has opened doors to us that were previously closed.

I have also been negotiating with Uk Sport to support our A grades financially and also the possibility of staging major world or european (or both) events before London 2012. These events would raise the profile of our sport and also give us several legacies in terms of kit etc.

I am also in the process of buidling up a relationship with Sheffield Council so that they feel happy to support our sport. They will be financially suporting the GB Championships in July and are eager to support fencing development in schools in Sheffield etc as well as helping us to stage major international events.

At present our relationship with the BOA and also UK Sport is good and this has taken time. They are conscious that this is in many ways a personal relationship built on trust and mutual respect and also a recognition that we have made real progress internationally since about 1995 and certainly since 2000 and that we want to profesionalise our approach.

We are looking at the staffing of the BFA office, new computer software to improve the services offered and hopefully the appointment of a paid employee to support Youth fencing.

I am conscious that fencing depends on dedicated volunteers at present even at the highest levels of the sport and so we need to look at how this can be managed in the future. Currently the activity of the BFA depends very heavily on the activity and energy and vision of the President and the team he/she recruits to help him or her.(this is a case of convincing many volunteers etc to support you and help you. In reality and I have been lucky to have a large number of willing helpers all over the UK). I would like to see BFA HQ taking a more central role again in the direction and management of the sport and we will be looking to staff accordingly, especially in the period from 2008.

The Home Countries have a vital role to play and their roles have been formalised and they have a very clear remit, not least Home Country development.I hope thewy will rise to the challenge of 2012 also as sport will be in the spot light and each Home Country has got to do al they can to promote our sport.

I hope this helps a bit and I am more than happy to give of my time to make real progress in a sport which I think can improve and which I really adore.I am ably supported by several people who also give immense amounts of time but we could always do with more.

Best wishes,

Keith

Keith.A.Smith
-1st March 2007, 19:19
Dear All,

After my last post this thread seems to have gone very quiet?

Any thoughts?

Keith

D'Artignan
-1st March 2007, 19:48
I presume that people are trying to think of other things to complain about or looking for some sewage to stir. Don't worry, I'm sure normal service will be resumed soon.;)

Boo Boo
-1st March 2007, 19:50
Thanks Keith for you post.

It is particularly great to see that you and your team are looking into diverse forms of funding and beginning to consider staffing from 2008 onwards - I think those are two major issues. As England Fencing has recently found, individual funding sources can disappear very quickly.... :(. It also sounds as though you and Graham are incredibly busy (as well as both having full-time proessional careers) - so increasing your professional support will help you to deal with the increasing momentum towards 2012.

This may have been answered elsewhere, but what sort of cycle does UK Sport funding operate on? Presumably the current funding is agreed and guaranteed until 2012, but when is the 2012-2016 funding negotiated? Ok, that's a long way off, but I am mindful that a post-Olympic "depression" may well happen (regardless of the medals that fencing will win :thumbs_up ). I guess that we are beginning to see kids competing who may be too young to make the 2012 Olympic teams, but will be striving towards 2016 and beyond. Although that is a LONG way off - and a lot can change in that time (much of it beyond our control) - it is reassuring to know that there is always an eye on the future.

Certainly, when voting in the 2008 election, I will be looking at both agendas for 2012 and consideration for the longer term too :cool:

Boo

Lucan
-1st March 2007, 20:02
Given that a shortage of coaches is a problem, has any one gone in to a
collage or university doing degrees and/or HND/HNC's in Sports Coaching
and given a lecture on fencing? Also do people think it would be worth
while thing to do, or a waste of time?

Barry Paul
-1st March 2007, 20:54
Sounds a bit too much like fencing development!!!!! Wouldn't that risk fencing becoming more popular then we would have to find even more coaches?

Barry Paul
-1st March 2007, 21:50
Sorry my last post was a bit negative.
quote
'We are looking at the staffing of the BFA office, new computer software to improve the services offered and hopefully the appointment of a paid employee to support Youth fencing.'

Support Youth fencing would be great news there is so much we can do in youth fencing development!

Saxon
-2nd March 2007, 08:20
Sorry my last post was a bit negative.
quote
'We are looking at the staffing of the BFA office, new computer software to improve the services offered and hopefully the appointment of a paid employee to support Youth fencing.'

Support Youth fencing would be great news there is so much we can do in youth fencing development!
It really depends on the results of the appointment.
Negative, but there you go - Friday can't always be all wonderful.

angelo
-2nd March 2007, 08:55
Given that a shortage of coaches is a problem, has any one gone in to a
collage or university doing degrees and/or HND/HNC's in Sports Coaching
and given a lecture on fencing? Also do people think it would be worth
while thing to do, or a waste of time?

The key is to make sure that all the physical education colleges and faculties include fencing as a course option (major/minor credit) for their students and for prospective PE teachers so that all school students get the chance to follow a fencing option. No doubt the BFA is trying to influence the sports colleges and the local departments of education (sports/PE advisers) in this direction. It would be helpful to know what progress is being made in this direction.

Boo Boo
-2nd March 2007, 09:07
I thought that "development" was predominantly a home countries issue (or am I confused)? Is it coming back under the BFA more?

Boo

Lucan
-2nd March 2007, 09:24
I am a home home countrie member. I am just asking for opinions befor doing anything.

Question: Should we go the in to collages or universitys doing degrees and/or HND/HNC's in Sports Coaching and give a lecture on fencing? Would it be a construtive use of board members time given that most Coaches come from fencers who start helping out at their club?

Gangsta G
-2nd March 2007, 09:32
This may have been answered elsewhere, but what sort of cycle does UK Sport funding operate on? Presumably the current funding is agreed and guaranteed until 2012, but when is the 2012-2016 funding negotiated? I think UK Sport has 2 funding periods: 2006-2009 and 2009-2012. The funding you get in the second period depends on your success in the first period, i.e. those sports UK Sport feel have potential for medals in 2012 will get lots of money, the others will suffer. So potentially the situation after 2009 could be very bleak.

I know this sounds quite negative, and I also could be totally wrong in this. But I'm sure I remember Keith posting this on the forum a while ago. Possibly my interpretation of the 2009-2012 funding structure is a bit extreme.

Boo Boo
-2nd March 2007, 09:51
I am a home home countrie member. I am just asking for opinions befor doing anything.

Just to clarify, my post was a question and not a rebuke or any kind... :)

Boo
(not wanting to be misunderstood...)

Boo Boo
-2nd March 2007, 09:53
I think UK Sport has 2 funding periods: 2006-2009 and 2009-2012. The funding you get in the second period depends on your success in the first period, i.e. those sports UK Sport feel have potential for medals in 2012 will get lots of money, the others will suffer. So potentially the situation after 2009 could be very bleak.

I know this sounds quite negative, and I also could be totally wrong in this. But I'm sure I remember Keith posting this on the forum a while ago. Possibly my interpretation of the 2009-2012 funding structure is a bit extreme.

Would be interesting to see when 2012-2016 gets negotiated then...partly because I would be interested to see what UKSport is thinking beyond 2012...

Boo

Saxon
-2nd March 2007, 09:59
I thought that "development" was predominantly a home countries issue (or am I confused)? Is it coming back under the BFA more?

Boo

Strictly speaking, I believe you are right.
However, I'm sure that HCs will welcome any assistance from BFA ;)

MRWFFC
-2nd March 2007, 10:03
This thread seems to have got a bit off topic.

The question was: what will be the the post 2012 olympic legacy for fencing in the UK?

Keith's answer was very interesting and as usual full of enthusiasm and positive messages. (I think we are very lucky to have him as our president at this time).

It seems to me that the post 2012 legacy will depend on how well BFA is able to attract and use the money and other opportunities in this pre 2012 period. I have two concerns.

1. Funding and other opportunities in the pre 2012 period may the result of resources taken away from existing grass roots funding (e.g. Home Nations sports councils funding).

2. As 2012 approaches sports with live medal prospects will receive more and more funding while others receive less. Bejing 2008 may be the most important event in this regard. Sports that have good performances from young (under 25-28) athletes at Bejing will probably receive the lions share of funding in the 2008 - 2012 period.

If I'm right then fencing will need to show that it has some good prospects for 2012 by returning some good performances in Bejing 2008. I have forgotten which fencing events are in the Bejing games (and which will be in London 2012), but I hope we can get some fencers qualified and that they at least demostrate the potential to win medals in 2012.

Boo Boo
-2nd March 2007, 10:06
Strictly speaking, I believe you are right.
However, I'm sure that HCs will welcome any assistance from BFA ;)

Oh definitely... as long as they all work together (was than trying to do the same things seperately and end up wasting time and resources). Not that I am saying that would happen... :)

Boo

Boo Boo
-2nd March 2007, 10:08
1. Funding and other opportunities in the pre 2012 period may the result of resources taken away from existing grass roots funding (e.g. Home Nations sports councils funding).

Hasn't this already happened (in regards to England anyway?)?

Boo

Red
-2nd March 2007, 10:21
Given that a shortage of coaches is a problem, has any one gone in to a
collage or university doing degrees and/or HND/HNC's in Sports Coaching
and given a lecture on fencing? Also do people think it would be worth
while thing to do, or a waste of time?

Worthwhile provided you can get fencers onto such courses... Otherwise it'd just be a minor distraction for people who really want to be tennis/football/rugby/cricket/netball coaches/PE teachers...

angelo
-2nd March 2007, 11:32
If I'm right then fencing will need to show that it has some good prospects for 2012 by returning some good performances in Bejing 2008. I have forgotten which fencing events are in the Bejing games (and which will be in London 2012), but I hope we can get some fencers qualified and that they at least demostrate the potential to win medals in 2012.

Beijing is critical. Who are the squad/weapons coaches responsible during the qualifying period ? Is BFA hiring any new international coaches to try to get GB fencers qualified ?

Boo Boo
-2nd March 2007, 11:46
Beijing is critical. Who are the squad/weapons coaches responsible during the qualifying period ? Is BFA hiring any new international coaches to try to get GB fencers qualified ?

Maybe you should start a new thread asking that question: I know that you asked that earlier on this thread and it got buried beneath everything else...

Boo

Saxon
-2nd March 2007, 11:52
Hasn't this already happened (in regards to England anyway?)?
Boo
There was as I understand no indication that Sport England were transferring the funding from England to BFA. Simply that they have a new CEO and he wants to make his mark, dictating funding changes. Apparently Sport England thinks England Fencing does not exist, and therefore cannot receive the funds promised by the previous administration. They also refuse to enter into any negotiation of any kind.

As I understand it. I may have misunderstood and the new person/people are really nice and have everyone's best interests at heart.

Boo Boo
-2nd March 2007, 12:00
There was as I understand no indication that Sport England were transferring the funding from England to BFA. Simply that they have a new CEO and he wants to make his mark, dictating funding changes.

Hhhhmmm, maybe I heard the wrong information - I thought that the Sports Funding bodies had suddenly "found" extra money for elite sports funding, whilst at the same time had taken away some grass roots funding. So not actually transfering one to another, just "redistributing the wealth"...


Apparently Sport England thinks England Fencing does not exist, and therefore cannot receive the funds promised by the previous administration. They also refuse to enter into any negotiation of any kind.

That sounds nasty if that is correct :upset:

Boo