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Thread: International results

  1. #21
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    As a "younger" vet, here is my input into getting people involved.

    As others have said people around that age have many other responsibilities like work and family which do mean that we cannot fence as much as we would like so cannot enter as many competitions as others. Many of us are still involved to varying levels on the senior open circuit so some competitions are taken up there.

    I do try to regularly do the Winton as that is a great weekends fencing and it is a lot of fencing and that is what I enjoy. On the other hand the senior selections event which happens just down the road from me is not worth entering as at cat 1 there might be 6 others doing the same weapon and £25 for at most six poule fights is not good value.

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    Quote Originally Posted by ChrisHeaps View Post
    For the record in ET16 ME did win a DE against Poland and we would have won more had we not lost our strongest man in the poules to a back injury.

    But that's bye the bye. Is your original post motivated by your well known opposition to the selection scheme or are you happy with that now?
    Actually the match against Poland was in the fight off for placings not in the main draw. ME came 12th from 17.

    The change to the selection scheme has been a distraction from the real issue which I believe is raising the standards of the lower categories.
    As to the current scheme it is probably OK for cat 1 ME, but certainly is not for cat 4 WF. The mistake is to try to apply this same scheme to all events. The previous scheme was one of the few which workied for all categories.

  3. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by cesh_fencing View Post
    If you read 'late-starters' post, Graham has been reminded repeatedly previously but has ignored those messages.

    If he ignores those, what can BVF do, just allow a committee member to carry on stirring regardless.
    I have no knowledge of being reminded even once about any posts and certainly have not been reminded repeatedly. I have no idea what ĎLate-startersí is referring to. You must not believe everything you read on the Forum.

    I agree entirely that committee members should not attack each other on an open Forum, which is why I have never to my knowledge mentioned any committee member by name except to refer to their posts.

  4. #24

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    Fencing politics at its finest. Let the man have his opinion and post it wherever he wants is what I say. This is not a great advert for BVF.

    I thought it was just a 'It's the taking part that counts because let's face it nobody really cares too much' kind of thing.

  5. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by graham paul View Post
    Actually the match against Poland was in the fight off for placings not in the main draw. ME came 12th from 17.
    But as I put, with the British Champion injured a few weeks before the event, me (runner up) injured in the 2nd match of the day the team was not in a good position for the DE rounds, the only match we had our full team, we won very nicely..

    Quote Originally Posted by graham paul View Post
    The change to the selection scheme has been a distraction from the real issue which I believe is raising the standards of the lower categories. .
    You do have to remember that in reality British Fencers competing internationally in the 1980s and before were far more competitive than after that when the rest of the world became much more 'professional' and we had the Amateur Fencing Association and very little or no funding for fencers.

    Expecting our Cat 1 fencers to be at the same level as Cat 3s when the base level started much different when at Open level is slightly difficult to expect. I do feel we do have some very competitive Cat 1 fencers, but few of them compete all the time due to other commitments..

    Quote Originally Posted by graham paul View Post
    As to the current scheme it is probably OK for cat 1 ME, but certainly is not for cat 4 WF. The mistake is to try to apply this same scheme to all events. The previous scheme was one of the few which workied for all categories.
    The old system did not really work for any Cat 4 weapons as it just ended up with pure luck of the poule or DE draw. At least with the current system people in a category compete with each other in the DEs which makes it a bit less random.

    Yes maybe there are ways it could be tweaked, but no system will cover every eventuality and certainly no system will suit everyone, however having dramatically different systems for different weapons is also not going to be good.

    We do have a system that the people that BVF committee agreed (as a group) which is being run with and I think all those on the committee should outwardly support the system, and then work towards improvements within the committee structure where they could influence things in the right way.. Just stirring all the time is not very helpful. At least ask someone else to do it for you.
    Oundle, Peterborough & Stamford Fencing

  6. #26
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    Quote Originally Posted by graham paul View Post
    You must not believe everything you read on the Forum.
    Or the internet generally.

    However as per the election, everyone has to decide what to believe and what not to believe and what is practical to happen, what is pie in the sky, or what will need to be paid for by shaking the money tree..
    Oundle, Peterborough & Stamford Fencing

  7. #27
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    Quote Originally Posted by cesh_fencing View Post
    The old system did not really work for any Cat 4 weapons as it just ended up with pure luck of the poule or DE draw. At least with the current system people in a category compete with each other in the DEs which makes it a bit less random.
    .
    You seem to be incredibly badly informed or forgetful about last years selection method. 3 out of 4 of the places for the WCs went to the age group comps, where everyone fenced in their own category. It was only the top placed fencer for each age category from the Nationals that also qualified.
    The selection for the Europeans was problematic as unlike the team competition at the WCs, for some strange reason there was no discretionary selection.

  8. #28
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    Quote Originally Posted by graham paul View Post
    You seem to be incredibly badly informed or forgetful about last years selection method..
    I was talking about Euro Teams, as Worlds is not for 40+ age-group, so I was not directly involved.

    Have to say however running poule unique for the age-group champs was such an outdated system that it needed changing, as the event it is selecting for has DEs. Certainly did not have a system that attracted my attendance after I did it the first time.

    Quote Originally Posted by graham paul View Post
    The selection for the Europeans was problematic as unlike the team competition at the WCs, for some strange reason there was no discretionary selection.
    Again when there is discretionary selection people complain, when there is not other people complain that there is not discretionary selection. Everyone knew the selection criteria and had to qualify through a published scheme. No one could complain as it was clear and how to qualify.

    As far as I remember I have never had a discretionary place for any GB team from Cadets, Juniors, Seniors or Veterans, so personally prefer to not have it as I think if someone qualifies they qualify.

    If there are 4 places, these should go to the top 4 ranked fencers available under whatever qualification scheme is set. Stealing one or two of those places and giving to someone else (on a whim) is inherently unfair IMHO..
    Oundle, Peterborough & Stamford Fencing

  9. #29
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    Quote Originally Posted by cesh_fencing View Post
    I was talking about Euro Teams, as Worlds is not for 40+ age-group, so I was not directly involved.
    So you are suggesting that our whole selection system should be based around the best way of selecting fencers for a team event that occurs every other year. No wonder you have such a slanted view on a preferred system. I am talking about a selection system that is mainly concerned with selecting our World Championship team.

    Quote Originally Posted by cesh_fencing View Post
    We do have a system that the people that BVF committee agreed (as a group) which is being run with and I think all those on the committee should outwardly support the system, and then work towards improvements within the committee structure where they could influence things in the right way.. Just stirring all the time is not very helpful. At least ask someone else to do it for you.
    We have a system for this season, which of course, I support to the extent of trying to make it as successful as possible. The committee have not discussed next season and it would be foolish to reach any decision before this season is concluded.

    I am astounded that you appear to be suggesting that the committee should come up with a selection system without taking into account members views.

    I am 'stirring' as you so helpfully put it to get the views of members. You may well get other people to do your 'stirring' for you but I prefer the honesty of asking my own questions.

  10. #30
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    Quote Originally Posted by graham paul View Post
    I am talking about a selection system that is mainly concerned with selecting our World Championship team.
    You have your view and many others have their view. This year's selection criteria was published in advance is clear in its contents and some will argue it is better than before, some will not. You do not like it, that is your view, can we see how it actually works before you slate it further..

    Quote Originally Posted by graham paul View Post
    I am astounded that you appear to be suggesting that the committee should come up with a selection system without taking into account members views..
    There has been huge discussions, surveys, requests for feedback and suggestions within the BVF membership from the committee.

    To say otherwise is being disingenuous.

    Quote Originally Posted by graham paul View Post
    The committee have not discussed next season and it would be foolish to reach any decision before this season is concluded. ..
    I am sure the committee will look at this year's and previous year's selection methods before they make any call on this. Surely it would be less confrontational to keep quiet about selection schemes etc, as you are on that committee, until this selection cycle is over. After the worlds would surely be a far better time to bring up this matter and I am certain the BVF will be seeking feedback from the membership on how this year's selections & event formats went.
    Oundle, Peterborough & Stamford Fencing

  11. #31
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    Quote Originally Posted by cesh_fencing View Post
    There has been huge discussions, surveys, requests for feedback and suggestions within the BVF membership from the committee.
    To say otherwise is being disingenuous. .
    Again Chris you do not know the facts, the committee have not been allowed to see the feedback, it is being kept secret.


    Quote Originally Posted by cesh_fencing View Post
    I am sure the committee will look at this year's and previous year's selection methods before they make any call on this. Surely it would be less confrontational to keep quiet about selection schemes etc, as you are on that committee, until this selection cycle is over.
    Again you seem to have a memory problem. Go back to the begining of the thread, I started by asking about how we could raise the standard of cat 1&2 and attract more fencers and that this should be a priority.
    The comment I made on selection was in response to a question and I merely said that the current scheme was OK for cat 1 ME and not OK for cat 4 WF, hardly confrontational? You were the one that took this comment and turned the thread into a discussion on selection systems, I would suggest that we now return to discuss how the cat1&2 fencers can become realistic medal contenders.













  12. #32
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    Quote Originally Posted by graham paul View Post
    I would suggest that we now return to discuss how the cat1&2 fencers can become realistic medal contenders.
    In reality medal contenders are very difficult to create in this type of age-group. The talent exists already and the key thing is to encourage them to attend the events.

    When our top ranked fencers from the recent past do compete we sometimes do get decent results, Georgina Usher as an example. I generally do not see the names of many of the Senior National World Champ Team fencers from the 80s or 90s for example fencing in the Cat 1 & 2 Vet Euros.

    The main issue, as has been discussed, is that many of our top cat 1 & 2 aged fencers have other life priorities. Changing that priority is very difficult as time, work and money pressures for people with families means fencing is often near the bottom of the priority list, especially when funds are so tight.
    Oundle, Peterborough & Stamford Fencing

  13. #33
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    Quote Originally Posted by graham paul View Post
    Again Chris you do not know the facts, the committee have not been allowed to see the feedback, it is being kept secret.[/I]
    So it has been asked for from members, given, seen and considered by the team tasked with setting up the selection scheme? Surely that is what should have happened?

    I am sure that if the committee as a majority wanted to specifically see the feedback it would be seen. If just one or two want to see it and use it to create chaos I can appreciate it being kept within the relevant team.
    Oundle, Peterborough & Stamford Fencing

  14. #34

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    Quote Originally Posted by graham paul View Post
    We need to encourage the younger fencers into the vets and raise the standards. I
    Hi Graham
    As you have been banned from the vets Facebook page, I thought you would like to know the main points which have been raised in the debate whuch you started on FB but which you are now unable to follow.

    Vets events are not seen as attractive because:
    1. Numbers are low
    2. The format to 10 hits is not appealing to younger vets
    3. Trips abroad can be expensive
    4. The organisation is a 'closed shop' and entry to comps should be widened to all those over 40
    5. Membership to 2 organisations seen as unnecessary expense - suggestion to add a levy on top of entry fees in lieu of membership
    6. For 40-50 the only thing you can qualify for is the Euro Team - there should be a Cat 1 in the Worlds
    7. Fencing in the vets for a 40-50 year old is seen as merely for fun, and you can get your fun elsewhere at Senior opens where you fence to 15 and the entries are greater
    8. Work commitments make weekday competitions and foreign competitions difficult.

    I would like to add that, at this time in life (40s) it is now the norm to have a young family, which particularly affects women fencers - pregnancy can stop you fencing - and priorities change. Money tends to be directed to the family and the hobbies of your youth take a back seat.

    Hope this is helpful to you Graham.

    Lucy

  15. #35
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    Quote Originally Posted by graham paul View Post
    The change to the selection scheme has been a distraction from the real issue which I believe is raising the standards of the lower categories.
    I think you already fully understand the reasons why cat 3/4 win more medals than cat 1/2 as explained by JohnL, Chris H and myself.

    If you have a genuine interest in raising standards how about you offer your suggestions as to how it can be done?

    I wonder if you even stop to consider how insulting your original post was to those fencers that participated in those teams that you criticised and what effect that may have. To achieve representation for your country in our chosen sport is a source of pride for many vets who did not have the advantage of starting at an early age. I didn't start until I was 28 years old and I wear my GBR stripes with pride. I also have a great deal of respect for those competitors that I have to beat to earn them and I have respect for all my team mates.

    May I suggest an alternative view of our final medal position from the Euro Champs? Gold medals seem to carry the most weight. How can we improve standards amongst our cat 4 foilists so that they don't bottle it in a final and lose us a gold medal?

  16. #36
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    Thanks Lucy,
    It's could to hear some constructive ideas.
    (I should add that these are y own thoughts and do not necessarily represent the views of the comittee}.

  17. #37
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    GP's opening remark was to point out his concern and invite response as to what to do about it. Fair enough.
    He may already have some suggestions, who knows.
    Let's take the heat out of this and try to come up with some answers.
    The longer I do it the harder it gets.

  18. #38

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    Quote Originally Posted by jacquesdor View Post
    Let's take the heat out of this and try to come up with some answers.
    As a result of reading the FB posts I would suggest the following solutions:

    1. Lobby the world Vet Association to establish a Cat 1 at the World Championships
    2. Lobby same to increase hits to 15 for younger age groups (needs further exploration)
    3. Open entry to all vets events to anyone over 40, but those who are not members pay an extra fee.

    Lucy

  19. #39
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    Quote Originally Posted by jacquesdor View Post
    GP's opening remark was to point out his concern and invite response as to what to do about it. Fair enough.
    He may already have some suggestions, who knows.
    Let's take the heat out of this and try to come up with some answers.
    Thank you for your sensible post. I do have a few ideas, but would like to hear more from other fencers first.

    However having read the responses, one thing that does become clear is that many of the younger fencers lack the time to train. My experience is that the older one gets, the less actual fencing and lessons an experienced fencer needs. It is fitness and leg strength that need to worked on. This can be done outside the environs of a fencing club, in fact I do a lot of strength training at home. By doing this the demands on time can be much reduced.

  20. #40

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    From an epťe perspective:

    When we look at why our 40+ and 50+ veteran fencers are not as successful as our older veteran fencers, perhaps we should look at fencers even younger than those in their late 30s as potential medal winners to encourage them to consider veteran events in the(ir) future.

    Also perhaps we need to look at why fencers at ages at younger than vets are not competing internationally as successfully as they or we would like them to, or how their early potential suggested they might do once they reach senior level.

    It is now incredibly difficult to achieve the ultimate goal of competing in the Olympics. Now there are only 32 places in individual competitions, and only 8 teams in the team events, and there are only four out six team events. Most of the competitors in the individual events are made up from the members of the team events, therefore if a country does not have a team which is good enough to qualify, then a world class fencer has a very tough route to qualify, and has to consider whether it is worth the effort.

    I believe in the past (1960s, 70s, 80s) the Olympic fencing individual events were much larger, (maybe over 60 individual participants?) and with one USSR team instead of all the separate former Russian states which now can put in their own fencers, plus countries like China, South Korea, USA being much more successful, perhaps there was a much greater opportunity for a GBR fencer to achieve the ultimate goal of reaching the Olympics, and therefore put in the training to become a better fencer to do this?

    GBR cadet and junior fencers are now being given better opportunities to compete in their world championships, and this should lead to those possible to qualify competitors training hard to achieve that realistic goal, but after that, what happens? They are then in their early 20s, have spent a lot of time, effort, money reaching the top in those age bands, putting aside things which their non-fencing mates and contemporaries have enjoyed doing. From then on you have to be very special, or part of a very special team, to achieve the ultimate of Olympic qualification, and probably have to become a full time fencer in order to achieve this. The cadet or junior world championship selection has possibly assisted in getting university bursaries, so there has been an incentive there for fencers to train hard up to that age group.
    From the age of 21-23, a fencer now has work commitments, possibly family commitments, so fencing is either taken less seriously, or dropped completely, possibly in favour of other sports which provide some type of competitive buzz, maybe something which can be done with their non fencing partner or subsequent non fencing children. A lot of good GBR fencers stop fencing.

    Eventually, a percentage of former fencers might find that their work or family commitments change, they find their old fencing kit up in the loft, dust it off, and give it another go; however this could be after a break of 15-25 years, at which point all their old kit has become out of date and needs replacing. Thereís also 15-25 years of training to catch up with. That rested fencer is now already into their 40s or 50s.

    They find British Veteran Fencing, and look at the opportunities to compete in Veteran European or World Championships, and maybe think they have some unfinished business, some unfulfilled goals. Then starts a long path of finding a coach, a club, to enable them to get to the level where they have chance of qualifying, and they do , but they get there, and donít do well. Maybe win a couple of pool fights and a DE or even two, but nowhere near the medals.

    However, there are a very small number of fencers, maybe in their 60s and 70s, who throughout their lives have dedicated a large part of their spare time to competing, maybe even competing up to Olympic level. They go to the Vets European and World Championships and do medal Ė consistently. All through their lives they have competed at International level, they have self-belief and experience they will go to those championships with a good possibility of winning, sometimes they do win, often they will medal.

    Iíve been to Veteran European and World individual and team Championships, Iíve seen the quality of the people who win medals at these events. They often have something special which you donít see a lot of throughout the fencers taking part in the GBR qualifying events for these events. Of course some of our veteran fencers are quite handy, but would not realistically expected to medal in the subsequent European and World Championships. Despite this, on a good day, I do think it would be possible for some of our fencers to unexpectedly get through to at least the last four and win a medal. There is a large pool of aged 40+ fencers fencing competitively in GBR. Look at the first round of any open and I guess you will regularly see pools with half the competitors aged 40+ (and a lot under 20 - but not a lot aged 20-40).

    There has been a discussion about the cost and commitment of taking part in the international competitions. I took part in the European Vets competition in Italy a couple of weeks ago (bank holiday weekend). By the time I added up competition entry fees, flights, large bag fee, parking at the airport, transfers, three nights hotel, it probably came to about £400. The competition was held in half term, and the Vets World Championship is also held on or around the October half term. Both events require me to use up part of my holiday leave allocation. (So possibly difficult for a fencer with a non fencing partner or of school age children or being a bit short of cash, to go to.) There were 210 competitors in my event, (50-59 ME). I won a couple of fights in the pool and one DE so didnít even make the top half. There were only 6 GBR competitors in my event, despite it being an open event, (no need to qualify) and being in a very pleasant town on the Italian Riviera. The location was near to the French border, Switzerland and Germany also close-ish, so maybe competitors from those countries had a financial and time advantage in getting to the competition, as well as other international / open / vet events throughout the year. An option for me that weekend would have been to go to the Luton Open, less than an hour drive away from home, and about £20 to enter. I might have done better than two out of six pool wins and one DE win .

    Chris H referred to injuries to the GBR fencers at the Vets European team event in Kent in 2016. Probably a fair percentage of us are dealing with long term or permanent injuries or conditions which at some time prevent us from fencing. For the Vets Euros I had to book and pay for flights and hotels a few months before the event, and closer to the event pay for entry fees, levies etc. All before I knew if I would be fit enough to fence well at the competition.

    If you want to consider why a fencer like Graham Paul is able to consistently gain medals at Veteran European and World Championships, and a fencer like me is not able to, have a look at each of our fencing CVs, consider what you see and then search across GBR to find and encourage a potential Veteran E&W medal winner to compete with GBR veterans (who is available and willing).

    We can spend some time and get upset with each other arguing about whether changing the format of qualifying competitions is more or less likely to produce medal winners from those fencers currently taking part in the 40+ and 50+ age groups Veteran European and World championship GBR qualifying competitions. Maybe we should be much more proactively encouraging people like Greg Allen, Jason Scrimshaw, Quentin Berriman, and looking to the future, Jon Willis and Nick Perry, and their contemporaries, to get them to take part in , or see why they donít compete in Veteran competitions, now or in the future. (apologies if Iíve missed you off)

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