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Thread: Sport England Funding

  1. #81
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ronald Velden View Post
    Mr Redshaw I don't know what you are trying to prove Are you suggesting that we are overcharging at £3 per
    hour, which includes coaching costs and provision of equipment?

    I think that you will find that our rates compare more than favourably with most other clubs in London.I suggest
    that you compare it also with the costs that the BFA were charging fencers for their academy programme.
    I'm not saying that you're overcharging. However low you perceive the fee to be there will always be those that cannot afford it and therefore cannot participate. You highlighted your programme as one that is not elitist and is affordable and that is the only reason your club has been mentioned. My point is that there are many that can't afford such small amounts. For me as a 12 year old 14 years ago, £1.50 per week would have been too much.

    My club's training days and camps are significantly cheaper than the National Academy (half the cost or less) and we're fortunate enough with our venue to offer an hourly rate that is smaller than yours (much smaller if they take full advantage of the sessions open to them). Yet this is still too expensive for some.

    Participation is important as Sport England give out money partly on this basis. There are many children that would like to fence (it's sword fighting - who wouldn't want to do it?) but can't because their families really can't afford it even when there are relatively inexpensive clubs around. An easy way to boost participation numbers would be to somehow get these kids involved on a regular basis. I don't know how to do this other than venues, coaches or both making themselves available for free. I've tried coaching as a volunteer and I simply can't afford it.

  2. #82
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    Quote Originally Posted by Red View Post
    .............. My club's training days and camps are significantly cheaper than the National Academy (half the cost or less) and we're fortunate enough with our venue to offer an hourly rate that is smaller than yours (much smaller if they take full advantage of the sessions open to them). Yet this is still too expensive for some ...................
    Now you're talking - this is one area where the cost is crazily prohibitive. With Junior denied AASE funding, the NA sessions were the first to go, more's the pity.

    However, I do think you're going overboard by stating that £3 is too much for a session, when an earlier post pointed that a coffee and sandwich costs £5 - half the price of a lunch is pretty good going and kudos to Ron for that.

  3. #83
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jon Willis View Post
    Really? and I mean really? is swimming more expensive that fencing? surly fencing kit costs more than swimming trunks? Are entry fees for galas more than fencing comps? Ryanair don't charge extra for goggles too now?

    I'm being slightly silly, but I can't believe that swimming costs more than fencing. Please prove me wrong if I am.
    Well - fencing equipment is an initial outlay[1], followed by the coast of club (30GBP membership plus 5-10 GBP per session) and competitions (20GBP for entry, plus travel) and of course BF Membership (erm, 40 GBP atm?).

    I'm going to compare this to the swimming club at Horwich (which I'm told are pretty successful)

    Equipment is again an initial outlay[2], followed by the cost of club (35 GBP membership plus 2.80 GBP per session[3]) and competitions (wait for it... 5.25 GBP per entry[4], plus travel). To add salt to the wound, the club membership includes ASA 1 membership, which is adequate for the first few levels competition (Cat 2 is required for higher levels). Admittedly for the competition I linked to, Cat 2 membership is required, which is 24.20 GBP.

    Assuming that fixed costs are the same, or will equal out over time, we can look at the variable costs, assuming 12 competitions per year and training twice per week (swimmers will probably train more often), and assuming that all other costs are equal (petrol, hotels, etc):

    Fencing: 40 + 30 + 5 * 104 + 12 * 20 = 830 per year.
    Swimming: 24.20 + 35 + 2.8 * 104 + 12 * 5.25 = 414.40 per year

    And because someone will complain that swimmers swim more often than fencers fence (are you dedicated to your fencing enough), if we double the training sessions:

    Swimming: 24.20 + 35 + 2.8 * 208 + 12 * 5.25 = 521.20 per year

    So your kid can train twice as hard, and a parent can still save 300 GBP/year over the equivalent child fencing.

    Suddenly, throwing any offspring in a pool rather than on to a piste is looking tempting.

    ---
    [1] There's obviously replacement costs of blades, plus outgrowing equipment, and despite advertising, even FIE kit eventually perishes.
    [2] Although the rate of deterioration may be higher, making this a recurring cost, at a guess, the rate of deterioration/replacement cost is not going to be higher over a long term period than a full set of fencing equipment plus replacement blades/gloves.
    [3] http://www.horwichleisurecentreasc.org.uk/page3.htm
    [4] http://www.bsbasa.org/champs/2013/Ch...ure%202013.pdf

  4. #84
    Senior Member Nick E has much to be proud ofNick E has much to be proud ofNick E has much to be proud ofNick E has much to be proud ofNick E has much to be proud ofNick E has much to be proud ofNick E has much to be proud ofNick E has much to be proud ofNick E has much to be proud of
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    'The key for parents is to pick the events that fencers attend in an effective/efficient manner. There is little point travelling to the other end of the country to attend an event with only a few fencers attending.'


    Having just completed my first full year as a taxi driver for my son this is a really important point.

    The Leon Paul series is a great introduction, but for the majority of competitions there is no indication of numbers entered until you get there. Why can't competition organisers post an entry list. I understand that this is a potential feature of the LPJS site if folk use it. You can look at the previous year results and take a guess, but then you always get what you always got.

    Many sports have local competitions to introduce youngsters to that level of the chosen sport. Some regions seem to do this, and I'm sure this let's everyone feel involved, but helpfully gives an indication as to whether it's worth spending the extra cash to go to national events. Maybe that's stopping folk moving from club to competitions, and becoming more visible to our funders.

    Sometimes it feels as a newbie to the sport that it's only about success at international level. Why can't kids have fun fencing at the lower level too. Isn't that how you grow the sport. And the more kids you get fencing, the more chance you have of finding and developing those who excel. And for those who don't make GB selection, this isn't failure. Very few can ever become top of any sport.

    So can we use any investment to grow the breadth of the sport to demonstrate increased participation. And then we can prove that it's worth investing in those who have the talent to be our elite athletes.

    On another point from this thread, when the boy asked 'can I have a go at fencing?' I had no idea whether he would enjoy it, whether he would be any good, what might be involved (I had never seen anyone fencing other than maybe in a James Bond film), and what the cost might be. Luckily I have tried golf, and as that didn't work out, have chosen to invest in the future success of Leon Paul and Premier Inn, as well as my son of course.

  5. #85
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hungry Hippo View Post
    Now you're talking - this is one area where the cost is crazily prohibitive. With Junior denied AASE funding, the NA sessions were the first to go, more's the pity.

    However, I do think you're going overboard by stating that £3 is too much for a session, when an earlier post pointed that a coffee and sandwich costs £5 - half the price of a lunch is pretty good going and kudos to Ron for that.
    I haven't said that £3/session is too much. I think that number was Ronald's hourly rate for 2 sessions/week, when the cost/week is £9.75. Even if it represents good value, it is still too much for some. Getting those that can't afford this involved in some way would be a good way to boost the numbers so Sport England look more favourably on fencing in the future.

    Also, I can and do eat lunch for far less than £5.

    There is a National Academy sabre session tomorrow at Brunel where the cost was £60 (now a mere £50) that was simply too expensive to be seriously considered for a single day. As far as I'm aware there will only be a handful of sabre fencers there tomorrow which is a massive shame as this had the potential to be a really good day.

  6. #86
    Chris Howser cesh_fencing has a reputation beyond reputecesh_fencing has a reputation beyond reputecesh_fencing has a reputation beyond reputecesh_fencing has a reputation beyond reputecesh_fencing has a reputation beyond reputecesh_fencing has a reputation beyond reputecesh_fencing has a reputation beyond reputecesh_fencing has a reputation beyond reputecesh_fencing has a reputation beyond reputecesh_fencing has a reputation beyond reputecesh_fencing has a reputation beyond repute cesh_fencing's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Red View Post
    Getting those that can't afford this involved in some way would be a good way to boost the numbers so Sport England look more favourably on fencing in the future.
    Though it may be frowned upon to identify this point, possibly the important thing is not getting people started who will not be able to afford to continue the sport, however target groups that have the finances to be able to go on to competition etc. so stay in fencing long-term.

    If £5 or £10 per week is not affordable to parents, then there is little or no chance of them ever entering competitions which require BF membership of £25, £15 or £20 for entry, petrol money etc which is the stepping stone to development..
    Oundle, Peterborough & Stamford Fencing

  7. #87
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    I can't help thinking that a vigorous domestic circuit at cadet level, not one that works from sept to Nov, and is not just geared to international selection is an answer.

    Does grow clash with gold, I wonder as we have arranged things at present.
    Edward Peck

  8. #88
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    Quote Originally Posted by cesh_fencing View Post
    Though it may be frowned upon to identify this point, possibly the important thing is not getting people started who will not be able to afford to continue the sport, however target groups that have the finances to be able to go on to competition etc. so stay in fencing long-term.

    If £5 or £10 per week is not affordable to parents, then there is little or no chance of them ever entering competitions which require BF membership of £25, £15 or £20 for entry, petrol money etc which is the stepping stone to development..
    It depends on what you're trying to achieve. If you're happy to coach to 'participant' level only, then perhaps there is a little more scope for running a very cheap programme (£1-2/session). If you want to train outstanding international athletes then it probably isn't such a good idea.

  9. #89
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    This is becoming one of the most depressing threads I have ever read.

    Are we really saying that as a sport we write off even trying to find sporting talent amongst the poor or less fortunate!! Lets mean test the multitudes beating a pathway to our clubs to ensure they have the financial 'potential' to become athletes.

    This is the most miserable, short sighted and shockingly negative publicity for the sport I can imagine.

    Some of the best athletes the world has ever seen come from the most deprived and difficult environments. The fire in their belly to succede being fuelled by the desire to be better than their circumstances. IMHO we have an OBLIGATION as a sport to reach and find talent wherever it is and ensure we have a pathway that identifies and supports it to fulfil its potential.

    Much more could be done by our sport organisation, administration, competition structure etc and more creative funding, and yes communities and individuals have a key part to play in that too. Much more should be done by NGB's to initiate political change and lobby for Governmental Policy to unlock school sporting infrastructure freely to reduce sports club costs and build real community sports programmes. Justin King CEO of Sainsbury's and I discussed at length this huge obstacle to turning the Active Kids programme and similar into more embedded sports development. Simply changing school obligations from having to view out of school use as a 'revenue stream' that they have to maximise and making it an Ofsted priority they use the out of school facilities for community sport would transform the cost base for clubs.

    I actually am not gong to finish this post just now. I am too cross and this is in danger of being a rant. I will take a deep breath and reflect on the festive spirit over Xmas. Maybe we all should.
    Michael Ruaux
    Club Chair Rivington Park Fencing Club

  10. #90
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    Quote Originally Posted by RX View Post
    Are we really saying that as a sport we write off even trying to find sporting talent amongst the poor or less fortunate!! Lets mean test the multitudes beating a pathway to our clubs to ensure they have the financial 'potential' to become athletes.
    I am not actually saying that, however any set up that targets those without the finance to start off with, needs to ensure their plan includes suitable funding to allow those kids to move up the ladder and continue fencing.

    If we are looking purely at a numbers game for participation, then the key is keeping people in the sport to the 14+ age-group which ES targets. Generally at this age kids have lots of differing options for sport so they have to be really tied into fencing and competing to stay in the sport.
    Oundle, Peterborough & Stamford Fencing

  11. #91
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    We do indeed need a far better base of junior fencing. It is impossible in most regions to do a season of relatively local competitions. North West is the possible exception.

    This would allow us to have a much larger base of young competitive fencers from which the national and international fencers would emerge.

    At present the entry level to competitive fencing is a national series of competitions and then straight into cadet events. We need to start with plastic events for primary age then build up to a series of 4 or 5 events each year at youth level on regional basis. These can then be worked into regional rankings.

    Reduce the cost, reduce the travel, widen the participation. To do that we have to change the membership structure, find enough suitable volunteers and find enough clubs coaches and school who will look outward rather than focus inward on their own patch of turf.

    I fully agree with the school problem. I teach in a school and I asked about having the place open on the weekend for training and was quoted a small fortune by our "lettings manager" even for our own kids!

    But we still come to the fact that getting to international level is expensive. I don't know why I and some others are being slated for making that point. There will be talented kids who's parents can't afford it. But that applies to everything in life; fencing doesn't come with your taxes.

    The way forward is to introduce local fencing, where some may happily stay, and then work on helping the few who go on to international level from a broader based pyramid.
    Qualified National Academy AASE Assessor
    Father of a Scotland Junior Commonwealths Fencer and a Senior Commonwealth Team Foil Gold Medallist

  12. #92
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    Quote Originally Posted by Foilling Around View Post
    At present the entry level to competitive fencing is a national series of competitions and then straight into cadet events. We need to start with plastic events for primary age then build up to a series of 4 or 5 events each year at youth level on regional basis. These can then be worked into regional rankings.

    Reduce the cost, reduce the travel, widen the participation. To do that we have to change the membership structure, find enough suitable volunteers and find enough clubs coaches and school who will look outward rather than focus inward on their own patch of turf.

    I fully agree with the school problem. I teach in a school and I asked about having the place open on the weekend for training and was quoted a small fortune by our "lettings manager" even for our own kids!
    Paul, you appear to be describing the fencing nirvana that is Scotland!
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  13. #93

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    Quote Originally Posted by Foilling Around View Post
    fencing doesn't come with your taxes.

    The way forward is to introduce local fencing, where some may happily stay, and then work on helping the few who go on to international level from a broader based pyramid.
    Paul makes an excellent point.

    For all those bleating about supporting kids, especially internationally, all I can say is - be glad they are not supporting a talented musician with ambition! The costs of lessons, instruments, competitions, accompanists etc make fencing look like a cheap day out! (and at least fencing has objective results - debates about selection & refereeing notwithstanding!)

    Where fencing can learn from music is to engender the local enthusiasm to participate and enjoy whatever the talent level. There are many parallels between elite sport and elite music due to the level of dedication and practice required however in my experience the mixing of the super talented and the not so much in music is a mutually enriching experience which generally inspires the less talented to try and emulate those more talented. There is also an extremely supportive 'feel' for those who have move up through the ability levels from their erstwhile peers.

    IMO if we could find a way to do this we would achieve the broad base and the supportive network to inspire our next generation.

  14. #94
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    Red

    Are you seriously comparing a club based in Central London with one in Stratford upon Avon, which I am sure
    recruits a high percentage of its fencers from the local school where it is based?

    I suggest that you take a look also at what clubs in other sports and municipal facilities are charging for facilities in London. For the record when the former BFA Development Manager visited our club he suggested that we were too cheap.

    Also if you go back to my original comments I made the point that the original clientele has changed since 2008 when the recession started. The basic cost of fencing at clubs is not the problem. You can spend easily the same amount of money on a SINGLE domestic competition as we charge in a YEAR when you factor in travel and accommodation.

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    Nick E

    Covering the points that you raised about competitions.

    We run two competitions on LPJS Circuit in Foil and Sabre. Following our recent foil competition which was oversubscribed I raised two matters with the Circuit Organizers.

    1. That there needed to be an efficient entry system so that people are properly provided with updated information. My understanding is that Leon Paul are looking into this for next season.

    2. Also following discussions with Leon Paul and Paul Abrahams that there should be a more balanced circuit
    for both foil and epee in London and South East. At present the calendar in foil is top heavy with most tournaments held in last quarter of year. There is less going on in rest of year.

  16. #96
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ronald Velden View Post
    Nick E

    Covering the points that you raised about competitions.

    We run two competitions on LPJS Circuit in Foil and Sabre. Following our recent foil competition which was oversubscribed I raised two matters with the Circuit Organizers.

    1. That there needed to be an efficient entry system so that people are properly provided with updated information. My understanding is that Leon Paul are looking into this for next season.

    2. Also following discussions with Leon Paul and Paul Abrahams that there should be a more balanced circuit
    for both foil and epee in London and South East. At present the calendar in foil is top heavy with most tournaments held in last quarter of year. There is less going on in rest of year.

    We know that Leon Paul has a website for the junior series, which is one up on some clubs trying to offer local competitions away from the busier areas of fencing. Though clubs in those busier areas are as 'guilty' as all for not posting details of entries onto websites. I asked if the site could hold details of entries, and it has the facility to upload excel files already which is essentially what we see with the Elite Épée series, and works well. For me this is a 'must do' to help parents transition from club to competition - is it worth travelling.

    Next is back to my point, also picked up by others, around more local competitions. These could be at county level, but also for areas with fewer clubs at a more regional or cross regional level (noting that pockets of development of certain weapons don't sit nicely within regions but cover adjoining counties outside of the regional structure - well done NW but one size may not fit all).

    Funding. You value what you pay for. My son's first club nights cost £2.50 if you needed to borrow kit - less if you had your own. Other than a few of those who have gone on to uni, no-one competes outside of the club. So cesh has a point if we want to really develop our fencing base. Not everyone will want to fence nationally, and not everyone has the ability to fence internationally. Our profile, as with any sport comes from international activity.

    To my mind we need to encourage those who fence socially to become members, as I'm not sure everyone is, but with costs and benefits reflecting local / county level fencing. Once people have confidence to want to go to national competitions, there is a realisation that this sport costs money, and choices have been made. I suspect that I would pay another £10 a year membership if I was told that this was being used to support international cadet and junior fencers through reduced costs. To be honest, if my son develops the skills to represent England or GB he would have to do so, but I have no idea where the trip money would come from. His current fencing is 'sponsored' by the advance booking deals at Premier Inn, with the odd bonus of money back under the good night guarantee.

  17. #97
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ronald Velden View Post
    2. Also following discussions with Leon Paul and Paul Abrahams that there should be a more balanced circuit for both foil and epee in London and South East. At present the calendar in foil is top heavy with most tournaments held in last quarter of year. There is less going on in rest of year.
    Epee has several events in London/SE already (Canterbury, Brixton, Haverstock etc), and with the EEJS running 2 events in Surrey, Epee is pretty well provided for (especially with a strong county/regional set-up in both with decent BYC qualifiers, though provision of more well run events will always be appreciated..

    I doubt LP have much of a say on dates of the LPJS events as these are dependent on the organisers rather than dictated by LP...
    Oundle, Peterborough & Stamford Fencing

  18. #98
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    Quote Originally Posted by cesh_fencing View Post
    Epee has several events in London/SE already (Canterbury, Brixton, Haverstock etc), and with the EEJS running 2 events in Surrey, Epee is pretty well provided for (especially with a strong county/regional set-up in both with decent BYC qualifiers, though provision of more well run events will always be appreciated..

    I doubt LP have much of a say on dates of the LPJS events as these are dependent on the organisers rather than dictated by LP...

    Trying to keep on topic, how can we best use some of our Sport England funding to improve our membership base, and structurally feed the top level of the sport? As a parent, it's not just the number of fencers at a competition when travelling, though knowing this before you book hotels is useful when cash is tight, but the quality of the product. 'More well run events'.

    The lpjs is for many fencers their introduction to competition in the sport. It also seems to be an introduction to competition organisation for some clubs. Having experienced good and 'interesting' through attending the series this year, a 'how to do it' pack for organisers might make it easier for others to have a go. Unfortunately one or two of the interesting experiences have come from long standing competitions where 'we have always done it this way'. As quality improves, through initiatives like the BF Parents survey, some folk may have to adapt their models.

    Can we make it easier for clubs to have a go at running county or regional events before hitting the national stage? What sort of investment would make that possible? As a start point maybe publishing a pathway that supports county and regional competitions, unless one exists, so that we retain and increase participant numbers. And picking up on points about the quality of coaching, if you are exposed as a fencer to different people other than just in your club, you can see what you need to be supported in aspiring towards - whatever your level if ambition.

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    Nick E

    First I would agree with a lot of what you say. The aim when I set up our club was to offer 'first class teaching' and 'recreation'. That remains the objective of the club and is the way that most of our junior members view the sport. Junior programmes will always 'cost' money because you need to limit the number of fencers to each coach. If you pay a coach between £25 and £30 per hour as we do that is the equivalent of what we charge and that does not include hall hire,equipment cost [every junior fencer in club can be kitted], repairs and ancilliary costs.Those costs have been covered by grants and sponsorship.

    I agree also about subsidy for our elite fencers. That is actually the case, because they are training at club in some cases 4 times a week. They are probably paying nearer £2 per hour.

    Dealing with what you say about competitions the best option for entries in case of Leon Paul Series is their
    website, because most of their information is provided there. I am also all in favour of more local competitions. Our club contributes two annually.

    We also started 7 years ago an International Cadet Tournament, which costs [not makes money]. This was done because I felt that British Fencers should be offered the opportunity of competing at that level in their own backyard. It saves most fencers heavy bills of travelling abroad and subsidising management and coach costs.

  20. #100
    Senior Member The Driver is a jewel in the roughThe Driver is a jewel in the roughThe Driver is a jewel in the roughThe Driver is a jewel in the rough The Driver's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ED_R View Post
    I can't help thinking that a vigorous domestic circuit at cadet level, not one that works from sept to Nov, and is not just geared to international selection is an answer.

    Does grow clash with gold, I wonder as we have arranged things at present.
    It's no different at senior level when, assuming you are mainly interested in epee, with the exception of cesh's Senior Elite Epee, the events with a decent NIF are effectively over by Christmas.
    What time does check-in close? How far away are we?

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