29th June 2015
DEVELOPMENT UPDATE – JUNE 2015
Over the last 12 months, British Fencing, supported by Sport England and other partners, has transformed its approach to increasing participation in the 14-25yr old market.
Earlier this year Sport England confirmed financial commitment to British Fencing to support its new insight-led Growth Strategy based on the development of attractive, participant focused opportunities for 14-25 yr olds to take part in community fencing.
The 2015-17 growth strategy is based on four key principles:
The Sport England target is to attract over 3000 new young people by March 2017, retaining 60% of them in regular fencing activity.
Over the last few months, the Development Director, working with internal colleagues and external partners has been driving forward the delivery of this strategy. British Fencing also has a strategy for Talent and the World Class Programme, plus work is underway on a Membership Strategy.
An important first step was to establish a Development Team with the right skills and knowledge to ensure the strategy is successful and ultimately sustainable. The recruitment process started in April 2015, alongside a review of internal Development staff. As a result, British Fencing has now established a team of people that between them have the right mix of skills, knowledge and industry connections to increase participation in fencing.
Whilst not all the new members of the Development Team have direct experience in delivering fencing, they do have a track record of delivering new participation programmes in a variety of sports. In managing these programmes they have demonstrated the ability to create a successful participation framework by bringing together all the fundamental elements - the partners, venues, equipment, coaches, marketing collateral and so forth.
To deliver against the four key principles of our growth strategy the following staff members that make up the Development Team will play a leading role in their respective areas of delivery:
James also has hands on event experience, delivering several international competitions and major international tours, including the design of volunteer placement programmes across events, media and match officials, leading to a significant increase in traffic on web and social media platforms. James’s passion however lies in the HE sector – a sector that he believes can offer significant opportunity for all National Governing Bodies to drive participation and develop a network of participant centric focussed coaches, leaders, officials and other volunteers.
James will lead on British Fencing’s HE offer – one that enhances student experience using a customer led approach, which will be delivered in a select number of universities across England.
Virginia has a Masters in Events Management and a degree in Sports Science & Coaching with IT. In 2012 she worked for LOCOG and with FIFA managing the ‘Field of Play’. Here she led a team of both adult and young Games Makers, to ensure the delivery of a successful world-class football tournament at the Millennium Stadium, Cardiff. Now, in a her spare time she is the Netball Europe Competition Manager where she has organised and delivered three annual world class European Netball competitions to date.
Virginia will lead on and develop further a British Fencing Youth offer – one that responds to our young customer insights, needs and passions, of which will be delivered in a select number of youth groups operating within England.
James is excited by the opportunity with British Fencing, specifically how fencing can keep people participating in sport through programmes designed to meet participant needs by reaching out to new partners and audiences. He strongly believes that the community sport sector can drive player pathways but also enable other tangible benefits that only sport can provide.
James will initially focus his attention on reviewing the existing Development services and products to identify and deliver improvements that will create the right portfolio for British Fencing and its’ members that is sustainable, financially resilient and ensures growth within our sport.
Steve brings a wealth of coaching development expertise with him to British Fencing, coupled with hands on experience and knowledge about the importance of creating a participant centric workforce in order to attract and keep people involved in sport.
Steve’s role is critical within British Fencing from grass roots through to the Podium. Working across Development, Talent and the World Class Programme, he will lead on the creation of a coaching development programme that a) empowers and supports a network of coaches and leaders to grow the sport at a grass root level, and b) drives coaching excellence at every stage of the coach pathway which is central to the delivery of a highly successful world-class fencing programme.
If you or your club are interested in working with British Fencing on delivery of these participation opportunities, please look out for related announcements which will be posted on our website, and sent via email to our registered clubs and coaches.
The intention is to provide a series of strategic updates from the Development Director on a monthly basis – we hope you have found it useful and welcome any feedback.