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Thread: World University Games Selections

  1. #1
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    Default World University Games Selections

    Or not ......

    Nine athletes submitted an expression of interest to be considered for selection for the World University Games. Of the athletes who submitted an expression of interest, unfortunately none met the performance criteria to be considered for selection, therefore no athletes have been selected. (BF news on 13/04)

    As this competition plays no part in the GB rankings, and no doubt is once again self funded, why are the selection criteria so high?

    And when is the PD leaving?

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    Senior Member danKew's Avatar
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    I couldn't quite understand that either. It does look like a tough comp based on past results, but if people are up for the challenge, why deny them the opportunity. Another potential positive bit of PR missed IMO.

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    Default Perplexed, disappointed

    I was similarly perplexed about the decision to rob self-funded and clearly passionate fencers
    of the opportunity to gain valuable international experience. I assume there was flexibility on
    the selection criteria. Can't help but feel disappointed in our governing body on this decision.

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    I don't think it's just the BFA that decides - not sure whether it has to go through BUCS or the BOA or both.
    Advocate extraordinaire to Beelzebub.

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    Not sure. The 2015 selection criteria only had this caveat in it:

    "In addition, British Fencing may select fencers from its World Class Performance Programme as part of their development towards 2016 and 2020."

    Otherwise the selection criteria was very rigid and of a very high qualification standard (ie nobody except full time WCP athletes would meet them). Unless the selection rules were drastically changed between 2015-2017, it looks like the rules were followed. I guess that just shifts the question to whether the qualification criteria ought to be so tough and who sets the criteria?
    Savvy!

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    I too find this decision crazy. Why are we not sending these fencers who will self fund? Who is responsible for the non- selections, as no name has been put to the published piece on the BF website? Who set this qualifying criteria?

    Surely not selecting anyone can not be anything to do with UK Sport and its funding, as last time I checked, we no longer receive their support. Or do we have the PD, Alex Newton, to thank yet again for this decision?

    As a slight aside- there is a job advertised as Programme Manager (Education) for 35k plus expenses. The job description includes ensuring growth and resilience within Universities to ensure fencing is available in every university. However, are not the students themselves one of the best advertising tools? Nine fencers going to a World University Games? That could be nine universities really buying into our sport.

    However, as it stands, we have universities potentially not seeing much point in fencing when their own top athletes are being refused the opportunity to compete. Poor publicity in my opinion.

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    Out of interest, I thought I would see which of our fencers met the criteria, hence who were eligible regardless of age.
    (1) A L16 in a Senior World Cup Individual Event between 1st September 2016 and 13th April 2017 or a L32 at the Senior European or World Championships 2016; OR
    RK for L8 in Paris and Long Beach

    (2) A L8 place in a Junior World Cup Individual Event, Junior World Championships or
Junior European Championships between 1st September 2016 and 13th April
2017; OR
    WD for L4 in Sosnoweic, L8 in Dourdan and Junior Worlds
    CM L8 in Budapest

    (3) A L8 place as part of a Team competing in a Senior World Cup Team Event between 1st September 2016 and 13th April 2017 or at the Senior European or World Championships 2016; OR
    MST L8 in 2016 Euros and Dakar would qualify any member of that team.
    MFT L4 in 2016 Euros would qualify any member of that team.

    (4) A Medal in the Team event at the Junior World or European Championships between 1st September 2016 and 13th April 2017.
    This one is easy as we just watched it. Plenty of medals for the cadets in the Euros but none for the juniors at Cadet or World level.


    So in total 3 individuals and 2 teams were eligible, but none of them applied/were students.

    I think we shouldn't apply such tough criteria in this case to what is really a development event.

    I'd change to:
    Senior L32 in WC/GP/Euro/Worlds
    Junior L16 in WC/GP/Euro/Worlds
    Keep Senior L8 in WC/Euro/Worlds Teams (or change by weapon for low entries)
    Junior L8 in WC/Euro/Worlds Teams

    Then any of the top 4 Seniors/Juniors from world ranking by application if we're sending less than 3 per weapon. Minimum threshold is Senior 1xL64 or Junior 1x32 ind.

    Still gives some definite criteria to aim for and keeps a pretty high standard, but would give some actual students some chance of qualifying.

  8. #8

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    ^ Not quite so easy to change, Hokers.

    I don't know anything about the 2017 event specifically (I guess things might have changed), but I know that the last couple of recent Universiade's have had to be closely linked to WCP programmes and BF has not been able to change that. BUCS has the real power here (largely under the influence of the BOA) and is only interested in selecting WCP athletes for funded sports. Of course that might change for the next Universiade (2019) with BF not being funded/not having a WCP - not sure how unfunded sports are treated for this event.

    Also, although athletes across all sports have to make a fairly large personal funding contribution to attend these games, NGB's are also required to pay a certain proportion of funding per athlete and officials too I believe.

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    Senior Member danKew's Avatar
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    Thanks DR ... this is the kind of information we need to help understand why certain decisions have been made. 👍

  10. #10

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    Quote Originally Posted by danKew View Post
    Thanks DR ... this is the kind of information we need to help understand why certain decisions have been made. 👍
    I have read this thread with great interest..

    I can only comment from my son's point of view.

    1) He was on the WCP ( his name is still on the crowdfunding site)

    2) He would pay for his own expenses plus that of his coach and whoever BF sends - as specified.

    3) He has won a World Championship Bronze Medal ( 2016 Team) + last 8 at a World Cup 2016.

    4) The support of his University.

    As we know the qualifying criteria was dated from Sept 2016 , as for my son to obtain qualifacation in his first year of seniors was to be realistically unacheivable .

    The bronze medal team of 2016 have not been selected for Senior International Competitions since Bonn, the three team members who actively fenced in all of the matches in Bourges have not fenced as a team since last April 2016.
    Raj and Jai also put their names forward for selection -as for the remaining applicants I am unable to make comment.

    Another opportunity missed for British fencers when the rest of the world will send teams.

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    Another interesting real life experience from an affected fencer.

    When is the PD leaving again, so that the sport can get back to developing without interference from those who know so very much better?

  12. #12

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    Quote Originally Posted by Nick E View Post
    Another interesting real life experience from an affected fencer.

    When is the PD leaving again, so that the sport can get back to developing without interference from those who know so very much better?
    Not soon enough!

    I believe she is leaving in July .

    My son has been on the home circuit " since he was 9 years of age and on the international circuit at the age of 13 - not a bad little fencer - now at 21 the great promises made by WCP have all but evaporated - as he is left with the reality his GB fencing career is all but over.

    Why? - over the years he was never part of the "academy" or the "junior wcp" - wishing to remain independent - but after the 2016 World Chapionships he was told categorically that "if he did not become a member of the WCP - he would never be selected for Senior International Competitions " - how encourging!!

    Guess what ! - his selections have been very limited and stage managed - when joining the WCP in 2016 the funding was not his priority - solely the ability to gain the permission to fence internationaly at senior level - even to the when Alex Newton punished him for a misdemeanour and made him pay for his entry and trip to Bonn - whilst funding the other WCP fencers.
    She stated that the program had already paid his fares and entry / fees for the Paris competition which he withdrew from ( his misdemeanour).
    In fact I checked all details and records of travel, by Eurostar - contacted FIE in Switerzerland - the organisers and hotel - no payments or records of entry were to be found.

    In conclusion I am not surprised why some young promising foilists are leaving British Fencing - I am sure Alex Tofalides will not be the last.

    Unfortunately this rant does not answer why fencers are not to be sent to the World University Games - but I do hope it gives an insight into the mind of the selector .

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    Quote Originally Posted by Family Lloyd View Post

    I am not surprised why some young promising foilists are leaving British Fencing - I am sure Alex Tofalides will not be the last..
    One of the top GB Juniors Daniel Kiss posted on Facebook last night that he had changed
    his allegiance to Hungary and provided an articulate explanation of why he
    had quit the UK for fencing. Very sad and a great loss.

  14. #14

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    Family Lloyd: To be fair, as stated, I believe British fencing have no flexibility over the World University Games selection as this selection policy is largely dictated by BUCS.

    Awful to hear of the stories from other events and points in the season though. Ridiculous that Alex/Jai/Rajan etc have been treated like this after securing such good results in their final junior season. Hopefully things will change significantly when the Performance Director leaves and I hope that these young fencers will wait for another year before making any radical decisions, to see if anything does indeed change.

    Sad to hear about Daniel Kiss.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Fleetfoot View Post
    One of the top GB Juniors Daniel Kiss posted on Facebook last night that he had changed
    his allegiance to Hungary and provided an articulate explanation of why he
    had quit the UK for fencing. Very sad and a great loss.
    That is indeed a great loss, though one of a number of top end younger fencers who seem to be appearing at competitions with affiliation to other countries. When asked why, it seems that they are welcomed elsewhere because of their skills and will be supported in exposure to international events that are simply not available if they remained linked to GB. Maybe the Performance Teams in other countries see more clearly than ours how that international exposure might improve quality, rather than waiting for the quality to improve before allowing exposure elsewhere. Interesting approach.

  16. #16

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    "To be fair, as stated, I believe British fencing have no flexibility over the World University Games selection as this selection policy is largely dictated by BUCS."

    On my initial contact with BUCS regarding this selection policy - I was referred back to our NGB and PD - however until my meeting with a representive from the BUCS in the very near future ,I can only quote what I was advised at that time.

    I will point out that other countries who will be sending their teams ( many are contemporaries/friends of The Bronze World Medal Team - are not being held to such tight restrictions for selection).

    Has anyone else (other than myself ) made any respresentation to BUCS on behalf of the fencers - not just foil - as all the weapons should be sent.

    "Hopefully things will change significantly when the Performance Director leaves and I hope that these young fencers will wait for another year before making any radical decisions."

    To wait another year ......to move forward- look back in time ....I can only pass comment for my son.

    Cadet - he won a bronze medal at Manchester International - his first breakthrough - he beat Germans , Dutch, French , USA - on the podium with my son was Alex Sido - if we only take Sido as an example - that years French Cadets travelled to nearly all cadet competitions they stayed together as a unit throughout cadets , juniors and now 1st year seniors - this years Paris Senior World Cup was Sido's 4th - he is not the only contemporary of my son to have multipul attendances at senior world cups.

    Japan are awsome - Alex's friend Saito again from a cadet has travelled the circuit with their seniors and fenced many competitions guided and advised not only by their fantastic coaches but their senior and exerienced fencers ( Saito is studying law as well as his fencing commitments ) - these 1st year seniors are already three seasons / four seasons ahead of my Alex - and there is very little chance of GB ever catching up - because the trend for each year group is the same.

    This applies not just to France and Japan but Hungary , Italy , Russia ...
    They are trained to be consistant - no easy runs - no fluky days - competition after competition they get the results.


    This weekend was the Under 23 Championships in Minsk - the fencers who attended in my view were the elite for this age group - the next Olympians - Sido was a bronze medallist - my son scraped a 32.

    This season my son has been ALLOWED to attend FOUR international competions - Paris he withdrew because the PD and the coach questioned his fitness and his ability to fence.
    The following week to test his fitness he took himself to under 23 Barcelona and obtained a last 8 - despite advising Karim of the result nothing was reported on the site - as a side issue his picture on the WCP Atheletes Profile has never been included.

    He requested to attend Cairo earlier in the season but no response from the PD - the president of his Spanish club and his personal coach requested an entry to Cairo for a second time- the PD said no - to date Alex is still waiting for a reason why he could not attend.

    After Bonn - he heard nothing from the WCP regarding selections for USA , Russia, China .

    Another year of waiting ?

  17. #17

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    The selection criteria is different for all the sports involved in the event so these are written by BF. If I remember correctly last time they were more detailed (and had a very similar feel to those of British Swimming) but were broadly written to exclude all but the WCP athletes. In some circles it is regarded*as important on the Olympic cycle as the 2nd largest multi-sport event.

    BUCS and the Universities want to send and support their own event & students. It is not BOA's event and they no longer have any moral authority here given the loss of funding.

    I believe this years criteria didn't exist until after the expression of interest. In this case they were written knowing they would exclude entries. This is BF policy.

    It will be interesting to see the approach of other sports in sending teams. In the case of Table Tennis, the selection criteria shown online is in a nutshell World top 150 or if no one then discretion. However, Table Tennis, Archery & Weightlifting sports also lost their funding. Will they now amend their selection criteria & also step back from supporting this event as well as other aspects involving the Olympic cycle?

    Given the high percentage of past, current and prospective student members of BF and the advertised role to support this part of the membership this is a strange policy mix.
    sometimes you have to herd them

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    It will be interesting to see whether the policies persist beyond the departure of the PD. I hope not. I could sort of understand why those policies stayed in place for the whole year that were put in place by her when the funding was still in place. But new policies made after the funding was withdrawn?

    What are we to suppose? That the policies will continue to persist after she has gone - because BF with or without the PD still believes it is better to set very high standards that will exclude pretty much everyone? That BF has decided to leave the PD with complete power until the day she leaves? Or that they feel constrained to do anything with no money, and even managing the admin of an event like this is too much, but they cant bring themselves to withdraw and let the top ranked fencers run their own development?
    Edward Peck

  19. #19

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    It does have a feel that its all too much trouble for a 'bunch of students'.

    I can't really comment on the PD. I have never met or*seen*in the last 5 years of attending Championships, Internationals & numerous UK events.

    A wider discussion is whether its good that fencing is represented at the like of the Olympics, University Games and UK School Games and if so when invited we should bother to attend.

    Do we prefer the situation at the Commonwealths where we are excluded and have to run our own Championships?
    sometimes you have to herd them

  20. #20
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    Things may have changed, but it used to be the BFA that decided the selection criteria. BUCS have to approve it.

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