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Thread: A question about Cadet Foil competitions...

  1. #1
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    Question A question about Cadet Foil competitions...

    Hi All,

    I have a 15 year old (just) foil fencing son, who at the nationals last weekend finished top 32. With Manchester Cadet at the end of this month I need to make a decision. He loves fencing and really wants to go. However, he doesn't have much FIE 'kit', so getting kitted up for Manchester would be a bit pricey - and pretty much out of reach for us. But it could be something we look to grand parents etc to help with, so could be done. He will be going to pretty much all the English based ranking events (though not Newcastle). My question is...

    How important is Manchester for someone who is now starting to hit his stride and would like to have a chance to do 'well' as a cadet fencer at English and GBR level? Is Manchester invaluable, because of the 'international' points and experience?

    I'd like to hear your opinion on this...

    Thanks

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    This is definitely something you should be talking about to your child's coach and in my opinion having your son fully involved. Sounds like the L32 was well earned and you have an ambitious young athlete to support, wish you both the best with that.
    Now this is where everything has to be put in perspective and an intelligent path for your child needs planned out to follow. It appears he could be on the cusp of a leap forward and of course to enhance this the full domestic circuit is probably required.
    But has he reached the point where there is a realistic possibility to challenge for Squad representation? If this is the case then a home big event can not be missed. But if your son's not quite there then a year of planned out events domestically that will improve his fencing skill set would be the best course of action preparing him for a serious squad challenge in his final year of Cadets.
    It's just a rough answer not knowing your fencer or his abilities, this is why a parent, coach, athlete meeting is essential. Also a big event at home where more than a squad can compete in is a fantastic opportunity for young up and coming athletes to experience the big competition setup and foreign fencers in my opinion. But again on the fence answer, this depends on the individual and if they're ready for it. So if the gear could be found then it's a fantastic learning curve not to be missed.
    Get talking to the coach, and also see if there are any club members with any old gear.
    Well done with the result and good luck with the role of fencing parent.

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    Default Thanks...

    Thanks so much for the detailed reply. There has been a lot of chats with coaches and their opinion is he is very ready to take on the challenge. I suppose I’m asking if Manchester is a ‘make or break’ competition?

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    It's the Competition to attend on home soil; for numbers attending, the chance to compete against foreigners, as you mentioned plenty of points up for grabs. If the fencer is ready it would perhaps be foolish to miss it this season, it could set him up nice in the rankings this year and for the following season.

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    My(then 13 yo) did the nationals last year and performed a little better than we were hoping for, it does put a different perspective on things !
    She didn't do so well at Manchester, after an early equipment failure which threw her confidence totally she got cut and was annoyed for a couple of weeks.
    All competitions are part of a broader experience, embrace it it as a new experience without any real pressure and have fun. If he makes the L32 in that competition he'll earn a load of points and you'll be attempting to calculate his rankings in your head as you leave each venue.... this way madness lies.

    Borrow some kit from a Junior who won't be fencing that weekend and give it a shot, there is a rail replacement bus service to Horwich parkway that weekend and most Hotels are fully booked, but do it.


    Mine preserved her rankings for Cadet this year, we entered the Juniors for fun and the experience.
    Unfortunately opening Pandora's box with a L8.
    Welcome to our world.....

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    Oh sorry, on the make or break question:

    For us last year, it would certainly have helped on the points side to have actually earned more than 0.
    It would have made the squad place more secure and been an easier train ride home.
    Having no (easier?) International points certainly gives you more to aim for during the rest of the season with domestic points, but was certainly of value for the experience of fencing International peers.

  7. #7
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    We've found Manchester cadet to be a worthwhile trip, not just for ranking points. My children had already fenced abroad, but Manchester gave my children the opportunity to...
    a) see how the style of fencing - and refereeing - can be very different across different countries. It encouraged them to be adaptable in their own style.
    b) discover how strong the international opponents were, compared with even our best UK cadets. A real motivating factor to get better!
    and
    c) get more fencing experience by having warm-up fights with international fencers between poules and DEs.

    As I recall, one year my daughter was knocked out of the DE by a very skilled Hungarian (built like a brick outhouse), who she clearly had no chance against. Just scoring a few points against the Hungarian, in what was a very amicable fight, did wonders for her confidence.

    The first year my children attended, we borrowed the required kit. If you ask around, at your club, or among fencing friends, you might find juniors with outgrown FIE kit, willing to loan it for the weekend. (Make sure you are up-to-date with the new regs for mask straps and soft chest protectors and get an EFC license)

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    Dear parents ( of very promising fencers ),
    Just a heads up. Do beware of Repechage ! I know of one fencer who made L32 in the Manchester and then went out in D.E - who packed up and left ( not a good idea when there is Repechage ).
    This year at Manchester there is no Repechage but do check when doing EFC events
    Very many best wishes,
    Kind regards
    Mark

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