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Thread: Sport England Funding

  1. #241
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    Quote Originally Posted by ED_R View Post
    Do you know any fencers at cadet age who are either not in or trying to get in to what used to be called the GBR squad. Other than fighting adults there is nothing for them really. This is participation.

    We have been asked by Keith to wait and see what is announced shortly, and perhaps I have misunderstood what is proposed now, but as far as I understand elite pathways means the top 12 or so across all six weapons.
    Yes, I do. Many of the kids in my school club have no intention whatsoever of competing, but they enjoy coming along every week, and some use it towards their Duke of Edinburgh award. They are participating but have no ambition towards elite fencing. And that is absolutely fine.
    Advocate extraordinaire to Beelzebub.

  2. #242

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    Quote Originally Posted by Gavinoo View Post
    A tough one. It might even be a simple survey regarding sports, "have you tried fencing in the last 12 months" to see if the number trying has increased. Regardless of whether they stay with the sport, it's just ticking the box.
    The sports council survey is conducted by calling a large number of people randomly and asking them what sports they do for at least 30 mins every week. Despite the large number called, fencing is only just detectable, and there is a large uncertainty and variability in the results.

    It would be very useful if we could come up with other measures of participation and any increases, as funding from Sports England could be increased if we were able to show a significant increase in numbers.

    Graham

  3. #243

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    Quote Originally Posted by graham paul View Post
    The sports council survey is conducted by calling a large number of people randomly and asking them what sports they do for at least 30 mins every week. Despite the large number called, fencing is only just detectable, and there is a large uncertainty and variability in the results.

    It would be very useful if we could come up with other measures of participation and any increases, as funding from Sports England could be increased if we were able to show a significant increase in numbers.

    Graham
    In order measure an increase we need to know how many people are participating in fencing at the moment. I'm sure we have no idea, unless the BFA ideally collected clubs annual membership figures and attendees for beginners courses.

    We have no exact figure on how many people fence in this country, appart from rough guessing, this information is a lot easier to collect than other sports like asking how many people cycle recreationally, because with fencing you'll be in a club somewhere.

  4. #244
    Senior Member plenty will become famous soon enoughplenty will become famous soon enough
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    Quote Originally Posted by graham paul View Post
    The sports council survey is conducted by calling a large number of people randomly and asking them what sports they do for at least 30 mins every week. Despite the large number called, fencing is only just detectable, and there is a large uncertainty and variability in the results.

    It would be very useful if we could come up with other measures of participation and any increases, as funding from Sports England could be increased if we were able to show a significant increase in numbers.

    Graham
    Dear Graham,
    The moment the subscription rationalisation proposals are carried out, I will be handing out the associations membership forms to 150 parents, and will also work to ensure the universities meet cost of the forty or so committed fencers, I am guessing the school kid/base participation rate will be a tenner or so per head.

    If all twenty full time school coaches in uk do similar then you've a possible membership increase of 2000 of school ages more or less ten to thirteen years.

    Job done ?
    Mark

  5. #245
    Senior Member plenty will become famous soon enoughplenty will become famous soon enough
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gavinoo View Post
    In order measure an increase we need to know how many people are participating in fencing at the moment. I'm sure we have no idea, unless the BFA ideally collected clubs annual membership figures and attendees for beginners courses.

    We have no exact figure on how many people fence in this country, appart from rough guessing, this information is a lot easier to collect than other sports like asking how many people cycle recreationally, because with fencing you'll be in a club somewhere.
    Dear gavinoo,
    Ref my reply above & your comments.
    If the association steps up, then like France Italy &c it'll be made clear that a base level membership fee is mandatory. It will require a no nonsense approach from b.f.a to ensure compliance and enforcement.. Letters to schools/coaches/clubs reminding of due diligence guidelines for insurance purposes would serve.

    Getting a handle on stats much easier going forward.

  6. #246
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    Quote Originally Posted by pinkelephant View Post
    Yes, I do. Many of the kids in my school club have no intention whatsoever of competing, but they enjoy coming along every week, and some use it towards their Duke of Edinburgh award. They are participating but have no ambition towards elite fencing. And that is absolutely fine.
    At cadet age more or less three of ten take fencing seriously and compete. All three were in top 50 of foil rankings at beginning of season, one still is as did Newcastle and docklands and not just st Paul. Nearly all like to do public schools and lpjs but only local comps as not so serious.

  7. #247
    Senior Member plenty will become famous soon enoughplenty will become famous soon enough
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    Dear Graham,
    Re your second paragraph about how to improve recruitment, I enclose cesh's post from earlier because in my opinion this is how it is done best.
    A good coach with assistance from high level fencers for the induction.. Then the ability for that coach to follow up on the induction and develop.

    Quote Originally Posted by cesh_fencing View Post
    I agree that support for coaches introducing fencing to new schools would be a great use of some EF funding, however there is no point doing demos and then not actually getting a successful club going at that school and having a 'community club' for those school fencers to move up to when they want to do more fencing.

    I have set up circuits both in Surrey and now in the E.Mids by contacting schools, doing demos at assemblies (with competition panel boxes, GB internationals doing the demo fights) and seem to almost always get fully booked for sessions (and sometimes having to do a 2nd hour to fit all the kids in).

    The cost effective way of doing this is for coaches to transport required kit from school to school each day, so one set of 18 kits for example would be used every day after school and then also at the evening club.

    IF EF could invest in this base kit for new coaches and support them into schools; as a contact from a governing body is more impressive than a coach for getting a foot in the door would be easier.

    A single coach can have 100 fencers going very quickly if this model was used..

    I personally prefer not to have 'subsidised' sessions by outside organisations as the few times this has happened, they fail totally as the kids do not seem to appreciate the activity and parents use it as cheap baby sitting.
    further , I think it is a mistake to deploy go fence unless it is alongside and simultaneous to metal fencing ( ESP not to 14yr olds !
    Also a mistake to let the L1 coach do inductions or take beginners group, unless they are working very very closely with a senior coach with a very well established club not more than 30 min away.

    But how to achieve this ?
    Again IMO L1 need to be downgraded with coaching licence 'withdrawn' until they up skilled.
    Pull funding from go fence unless it is a project co-ordinated by successful club ref above.

    You don't need to buy starter sets for coaches as there is already a very generous lease/buy arrangement between b.f.a and lp for this.


    I have one radical idea, and that is for b.f.a to pay 25 per hour to any ex international level fencer of student age or so who successfully introduces and teaches a new beginners group for kids at a school or sports venue provided it has never been before. Ten people doing this could within one or two years, have a radical effect.
    ( the young coach would have to balance the terms fee with venue hire and kit purchase etc and could keep any surpluses, if any, which is doubtful. Plus the federation could maybe help with the first correspondence to the targeted schools and potential venues )

    .?.....?
    Mark

  8. #248

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    Quote Originally Posted by graham paul View Post
    The sports council survey is conducted by calling a large number of people randomly and asking them what sports they do for at least 30 mins every week. Despite the large number called, fencing is only just detectable, and there is a large uncertainty and variability in the results.
    Yes, not quite as popular as Rounders but more participants than Archery, Baseball & Softball, Waterskiing, Basketball (Wheelchair), Boccia, Goalball, Handball, Lacrosse, Modern Pentathlon, Orienteering, Shooting, Triathlon, Wheelchair Rugby, Wrestling (in that order).

  9. #249
    Senior Member grizz has a reputation beyond reputegrizz has a reputation beyond reputegrizz has a reputation beyond reputegrizz has a reputation beyond reputegrizz has a reputation beyond reputegrizz has a reputation beyond reputegrizz has a reputation beyond reputegrizz has a reputation beyond reputegrizz has a reputation beyond reputegrizz has a reputation beyond reputegrizz has a reputation beyond repute
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    As far as I am aware Sport England will only take any notice of their own survey results regarding participation. They know that NGBs are prone to fiddling the numbers so they disregard NGB membership data.

    Jed

  10. #250
    Senior Member ED_R has a reputation beyond reputeED_R has a reputation beyond reputeED_R has a reputation beyond reputeED_R has a reputation beyond reputeED_R has a reputation beyond reputeED_R has a reputation beyond reputeED_R has a reputation beyond reputeED_R has a reputation beyond reputeED_R has a reputation beyond reputeED_R has a reputation beyond reputeED_R has a reputation beyond repute
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    Quote Originally Posted by grizz View Post
    As far as I am aware Sport England will only take any notice of their own survey results regarding participation. They know that NGBs are prone to fiddling the numbers so they disregard NGB membership data.

    Jed
    But if you can't measure it yourself, you can't manage it.
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  11. #251
    Senior Member munkey has a reputation beyond reputemunkey has a reputation beyond reputemunkey has a reputation beyond reputemunkey has a reputation beyond reputemunkey has a reputation beyond reputemunkey has a reputation beyond reputemunkey has a reputation beyond reputemunkey has a reputation beyond reputemunkey has a reputation beyond reputemunkey has a reputation beyond reputemunkey has a reputation beyond repute munkey's Avatar
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    In my (not entirely unbiased!) opinion, GoFence is a good idea currently poorly executed. Fencing Fun currently coaches around 450 kids a week (with 2 full-time coaches and 3 part-time) using plastic kit and feeds predominantly into 2 clubs (Salle Holyrood in Edinburgh and Shetland FC). Salle Holyrood was established as a development pathway for kids who learnt to fence using plastic kit whereas Shetland was long established.

    A couple of key things about Fencing Fun classes are that using plastic kit is cheaper and quicker than metal (12 sets of plastic kit for about 700 and the kids can be kitted up by putting on a midi-fence vest and a mask in about 2 minutes) but the quality of coaching has to be high (all Fencing Fun coaches fenced for Home Country senior team or GB Junior squads as a minimum). To be honest, a good coach could teach basics using garden canes for swords and sieves for masks, the key is what and how you coach rather than what you coach with.

    Linking feeder clubs to an established club has potential problems (space, coaching and kit capacity, existing culture) whereas starting a club from scratch makes it easier in some ways to set the standards for how training will be carried out and the fencers have all come from a common coaching structure. EF funding to support purchase of plastic kit (or actual provision of kit to benefit from bulk purchase of kit) and central assistance either in the form of direct funding or help with applying for Awards for All grants to establish new metal clubs would provide cheap grass-roots classes and a development pathway for those fencers. EF/BF could look to recruit 20 full-time coaches (where EF/BF gets to choose who is recruited and how they are trained) and recoup most of the money by directly invoicing the participating schools and providing decent sized grants to support the new clubs that can be founded from that larger group of plastic-trained young fencers.

    Just another outline option for how to increase participation, improve coaching standards and develop a pathway from grass-roots. (I am available as a consultant to BF if required!)
    Sean Walton - the voice of reason!

    www.salleholyrood.com

  12. #252
    Senior Member Barry Paul has much to be proud ofBarry Paul has much to be proud ofBarry Paul has much to be proud ofBarry Paul has much to be proud ofBarry Paul has much to be proud ofBarry Paul has much to be proud ofBarry Paul has much to be proud ofBarry Paul has much to be proud ofBarry Paul has much to be proud of Barry Paul's Avatar
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    Still a little confused. I never realized the B.F. reason for existence was to follow any plan as outlined by the sports council. The B.F. following a sports council plan encouraging devolution and wrongly (in my view) devolved into four country associations in order to access home country money which was never forthcoming.

    So I have to ask what is the purpose of B.F. I really don't think that the majority of B.F. members want the B.F. to concentrate only on getting 13 to 24 years olds to fence for an hour so that a relatively few have a pathway and can access cheap foreign comps.

    Lots of good ideas in the posting, but what we need to do is get as many people trying fencing having fun and in the process provide a way for people of any age Cadets to Veterans to improve. There are 350 20 set of change for life kits (Midi-fence /Go fence kit) out in English schools so let get these\all being used. Lets stop all this nonsense of withdrawing level 1 licenses. (My coach never had a coaching certificate but created many top fencers including myself and Graham) Any fencing is better than no fencing.

    Although Graham Paul is asking for opinions as an expert on winning (4 Olympic Games(7th in team with me in Montreal (medal zone?))) 2 times winner A grades, approx 15 times British Champion individual/Team foil and epee, several times Veteran World Championships) perhaps we should be asking him what we should do to becoming a winning fencing Nation?

  13. #253

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    Quote Originally Posted by plenty View Post
    Dear Graham,
    The moment the subscription rationalisation proposals are carried out, I will be handing out the associations membership forms to 150 parents, and will also work to ensure the universities meet cost of the forty or so committed fencers, I am guessing the school kid/base participation rate will be a tenner or so per head.

    If all twenty full time school coaches in uk do similar then you've a possible membership increase of 2000 of school ages more or less ten to thirteen years.

    Job done ?
    Mark
    Mark,
    I am afraid not. Sport England requires participation, not membership. In fact currently we have about 3 times the participation numbers when compared with BF membership numbers. We need a way of measuring participation, and then showing it increasing.
    Graham

  14. #254

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    Quote Originally Posted by Barry Paul View Post
    Although Graham Paul is asking for opinions as an expert on winning (4 Olympic Games(7th in team with me in Montreal (medal zone?))) 2 times winner A grades, approx 15 times British Champion individual/Team foil and epee, several times Veteran World Championships) perhaps we should be asking him what we should do to becoming a winning fencing Nation?
    Barry,

    Thanks, you are officially appointed as my PR agent!

    However I believe that for far too long we have had a piecemeal approach to becoming a top competitive nation. We need to have a more holistic and integrated approach. We need to expand the base of the pyramid with young fencers. We then need a clear pathway for the more talented of them to improve as they mature. The beginning of the pathway will have many fencers being guided to maximise their potential. This number will narrow down over the years, leaving a squad of fencers dedicated to reaching the top and being at least partly funded. The really important bit is to develop this pathway so that all fencers with the desire can reach their full potential.

    Graham

  15. #255
    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 graham paul View Post
    We need to expand the base of the pyramid with young fencers. We then need a clear pathway for the more talented of them to improve as they mature. The beginning of the pathway will have many fencers being guided to maximise their potential. This number will narrow down over the years, leaving a squad of fencers dedicated to reaching the top and being at least partly funded. The really important bit is to develop this pathway so that all fencers with the desire can reach their full potential.
    Sounds like one of my earlier posts on this thread!!
    Oundle, Peterborough & Stamford Fencing

  16. #256

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    Quote Originally Posted by graham paul View Post
    Mark,
    In fact currently we have about 3 times the participation numbers when compared with BF membership numbers.
    Graham
    How do you know that?

  17. #257

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    Quote Originally Posted by Gavinoo View Post
    How do you know that?
    Participation figures are from the Sport England survey.
    Graham

  18. #258
    Senior Member TomA has a reputation beyond reputeTomA has a reputation beyond reputeTomA has a reputation beyond reputeTomA has a reputation beyond reputeTomA has a reputation beyond reputeTomA has a reputation beyond reputeTomA has a reputation beyond reputeTomA has a reputation beyond reputeTomA has a reputation beyond reputeTomA has a reputation beyond reputeTomA has a reputation beyond repute
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    If 14-24(?) is the age group targeted, then there needs to be more of a focus at least on graduation to metal fencing from Go Fence.

    The key issue for me is that putting a plastic sword in the hand of a child might keep them interested for a year or two. Putting a plastic sword in the hand of a teenager will keep them interested for a month or two at most.

    Without progression to metal in hand, both are damaging situations. The teenager after a couple of months will lose interest. The next time they are presented with the opportunity to fence they will feel they have 'already tried fencing' and that it wasn't for them. Likewise, as a child grows older they too will begin to lose interest in the soft form of the sport, and the same scenario occurs later in life.

    So while you might have added the two hypothetical youngsters to your participation numbers for a year or two, you've not retained them and actually put them off a sport that they were motivated to try in the first place.

    This is a problem in sheer numerical terms because I suspect that the number being put off in this way either exceeds the birth rate or will eventually do so as the program expands (ie we are getting rid of them faster than they are coming in). That's without all the other logistical factors that impede access to your target population group.

    There is not an infinite number of potential participants with which to feed the numbers, therefore retention counts.

    Retention requires progression, which acts as the carrot to keep the proverbial donkey motivated. If someone feels they are making progress with something, they will more likely stick with it. If they feel they are stagnating for whatever reason, they will lose motivation and drift away.

    This is why I like munkey's model. Having good coaches at the participation level is key to retention, as they are able to help their fencers progress technically and encourage them into the local clubs where they can fence metal. If they are successful fencers themselves, even better, they can provide an aspirational figure for the kids to aim at. Everyone loves stripes.

    I'm still not convinced that plastic fencing isn't the devil incarnate, but if it's a necessary evil then the above seems to be the best way to use it.

    Progression drives retention. Incidentally this is why I think everyone's posting on this thread about talent pathways and funding for cadet internationals. Because we have such a small circuit, both of these are sighted very early on by parents and fencers as a form of progression.

  19. #259
    Senior Member Barry Paul has much to be proud ofBarry Paul has much to be proud ofBarry Paul has much to be proud ofBarry Paul has much to be proud ofBarry Paul has much to be proud ofBarry Paul has much to be proud ofBarry Paul has much to be proud ofBarry Paul has much to be proud ofBarry Paul has much to be proud of Barry Paul's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by TomA View Post
    If 14-24(?) is the age group targeted, then there needs to be more of a focus at least on graduation to metal fencing from Go Fence.
    It might be the Sport England requirement, that does not necessarily mean it must be the B.F. target.
    What is the rational behind this age group selection? What evidence of subsequent long term increase in sports participation is this based on? Is this based on some sports and then just assumed that all sports are the same? What would happen if I had an irrefutable case that getting kids fencing from 10 to 13 would eventually lead to long term greater numbers?

  20. #260
    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 Barry Paul View Post
    It might be the Sport England requirement, that does not necessarily mean it must be the B.F. target?
    Sport England require consistancy across all the sports so I suspect that is why they use this age-range.

    I do not think it matters if BF target younger age-groups for developing the base for fencing, but as posted so many times already, the key is a structured route for fencers to reach the targets they want to within these ages, whether that is just club fencing, local events or aiming for longer term development to National or Internatonal level.
    Oundle, Peterborough & Stamford Fencing

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