Email: info@newtonabbotfencing.co.uk | Tel: 07599 834 694

2020 June Newsletter

Welcome to the June edition of the Newton Abbot & Totnes Fencing club newsletter.

Message from our Jan, B.A.F., 

‘From the ON GUARD position in Sixte, parry circular SIXTE & RIPOSTE with a disengage & LUNGE, immediately returning to guard. As your front foot arrives on the floor/ground, perform the complete movement 6 more times.

It is important that the exercise should be done as a rhythmical movement. Repeat this exercise with a parry of QUARTE & disengage lunge.

May the force be with you!’ 

Message from British Fencing Association: – (29/05/2020)

We hope this finds you well. We know COVID-19 has had an enormous impact across all communities in the UK and we would like to thank our fencing community for continuing to support the NHS, key workers and each other in these difficult times.

As you may be aware, there has been some lifting of lockdown restrictions for outdoor sports in some areas of the UK but the phasing and details of any easing for indoor sports remains uncertain and dynamic. We can’t yet get back to fencing lessons or sparring (see announcement here), however we are closely monitoring announcements and are preparing plans for a return, to the extent we can.

Since our last message, we have continued to support our members, clubs, and the fencing community in a variety of ways. Whilst we continue to deliver the ‘usual’ National Governing Body activities (for example insurance, safeguarding and welfare, supporting funding applications) we have also adapted our activities in light of government guidance and to support the needs of our community:

  1. We have been in close contact with partners and funding bodies like Sport England, UK Sport and the Sport and Recreation Alliance, advocating for the needs of our community, from coaches that earn their living in our sport, to clubs that face significant financial challenges.
  2. We are continuing to update our COVID-19 advice here, with dedicated pages for clubs and coaches.
  3. We have been supporting our clubs and coaches to get online, sharing best practice and making sure they know what is required to be insured to deliver remote sessions to members.
  4. We are opening up a wealth of resources from our Athlete Development Programme through our new Fit2Fence initiative, as part of our work to support members who wish to keep fit and active during this period.
  5. With the postponement of the Tokyo Games, our Olympic Team Manager is continuing to liaise with and support our GBR fencers aiming for Tokyo, as we wait on news from the FIE with regards to the remaining Olympic qualification competitions.

For a full run down of our recent activities, please take a look at our Operational Update.

Many of our members have asked about restarting events. Next month we hope to publish some dates for 2021 and provide you with an update on those events currently postponed (Senior Nationals, BYCs, GB Cup and Cadet & Junior Nationals). We would love to be able to set some firm dates to restart competitive fencing in 2020, however until there is more certainty over social distancing easing it is very difficult to make firm plans.

Rankings will continue to be frozen until we can be confident that sufficient numbers of people can participate in these competitions from across the UK. We will provide a sensible notice period to allow people to arrange travel and accommodation.

As lockdown starts to ease (in different ways across the UK) we now enter a crucial phase of helping our clubs and communities prepare to restart activities when government guidelines allow for it. We do not know when and how restrictions will change but we are scenario planning for some of the more likely outcomes. We have a Return to Fencing working group that includes representatives of the Home Countries to create, where possible, a UK wide consistent approach to the advice and guidance we publish. We have started a series of community discussion groups (more info here) which is proving a great way of hearing from our members, understanding how best we can support them and provide a mechanism for best practice sharing.

As a sport, we need to be flexible and embrace new opportunities to adapt. How can we run exciting and engaging club and school sessions even if social distancing continues? If restrictions on travel and numbers of people in a venue are likely, how can we adapt and rejuvenate competitive fencing at a local level? These are important topics for our discussions.

We are aware that there have been a lot of recent BF announcements which are all published in the latest news section of our website. To help you keep up to date, you can now subscribe to our new weekly summary email featuring the previous week’s latest news and announcements. Sign up here.

In the meantime, and as always, the health and wellbeing of our community is of the utmost importance. Please continue to follow the official guidance and look after yourself and each other.

Georgina Usher, CEO, British Fencing

Mark Lyttle, Chair, British Fencing

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Dear All, We may be able to start again at Teign before long and have to abide by the regs concerning covid-19. Principal is the need to test each fencer on arrival, that the regs relative to each centre are observed and that there is no interchange of gear between fencers.. We need to keep a record for 3 weeks of who has come and their addresses and contact numbers. For the Tuesday and Wednesday evenings I am willing to take the responsibility of being covid-19 officer for the session and Bill is happy to do Mondays. An issue has arisen relating to gear. Each fencer must have their own, or be issued with a set of the Clubs, for which they are responsible for keeping in good order and clean. This has brought to mind, the habit of some of our members who use club gear for evermore, which for a modest £2 or so per month does not reflect its true value. This we wish to stop. For the future, our plan is that a fencer can use club gear for the first 12 months, after which they must acquire their own by buying new, or to purchase the club gear they have been using. We suggest the price could be for the value we put upon it in the annual stocktake and discount by whatever they have paid by way of the extra sub charge. So quite an attractive deal. We do have a lot of gear and could be good to pass some on. It also means that with each fencer set up with their own gear, we shall have no further need to lug around the huge collection that we have done up until now. Just the boxes, some lames, body wires and a small selection of weapons to provide for the malfunctions on the night. Virtually no gear will be left at Teign. It may seem to create a problem for the ‘first nighters’, but then perhaps we do as they would on the continent and limit their first night to footwork exercise etc. and then bring a set of gear for them to take at the second session. How much gear we might lose is something we will only find out once we put this into practice, but hopefully very little.

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