6th May 2011
BRITISH FENCING STATEMENT
At the British Youth Championships (BYCs), the DT made a decision not to accept protective equipment* from SWORD PRICE FIGHTERS FENCING for that specific event. The decision was made by the DT with the appropriate delegated authority to make decisions for that specific event and time only. DT made this decision with the information they had to hand and only in the interests of young fencers’ safety. The DT also organised for equipment to be borrowed for those fencers who had turned up with this equipment.
British Fencing has asked its Safety Committee urgently to seek future assurances from Sword Price Fighters that its equipment fully complies with relevant safety standards.
British Fencing has asked the Safety Committee also to provide appropriate and urgent guidance for Competition Organisers; and to recommend further steps to be taken by British Fencing, clubs, event organisers, etc, to secure safety of equipment and clothing for fencers, acknowledging appropriate legal and insurance advice.
*masks were allowed following a check by British Fencing Armourers
Based on further advice received after the Board’s agreement to the above statement, British Fencing has suspended the use of this protective equipment whilst further enquiries are made, by the British Fencing Safety Committee, as to its fitness for purpose.
Further to the Board notice on the 7th May, British Fencing has received enquiries on club level use of Sword Price Fighter Fencing (SPFF) equipment, and the potential insurance issues. British Fencing would like to emphasise that this is an interim measure until we receive further information and to assist members and clubs, we have added an addendum to this notice which can also be viewed below:
British Fencing has direct control and accountability over competitions it runs itself. Other fencing activities, whilst they are authorised and formally recognised by BF, are not within its direct control and consequently BF is not directly accountable for them.
BF insurance is designed to protect not just BF, but also other parties with potential risk exposures such as regions, affiliated clubs, registered coaches and members .
The interim suspension announced by BF on 7 May on the use of Sword Price Fighters protective clothing relates only to BF run activities (eg. competitions; academy etc.).
Unless it is ever legally proven that the SPFF kit is ineffective in relation to safety when used whilst fencing, the insurance for such additional parties remains in place and effective and will not be prejudiced by the use of the clothing. There is no specific condition or exclusion under the policy which removes cover in the event of a dispute over the suitability of the safety equipment used.
However, under the Reasonable Precautions General Condition of the Insurance policy - "The Insured shall take all reasonable precautions to prevent accidents and any injury, loss, destruction or damage and shall take all reasonable steps to observe and comply with statutory or local authority laws, obligations and requirements." It should be noted that "Insured" includes the other above insured parties, besides BF itself.
BF must leave it to clubs, coaches and fencers to take their own decisions about the use of any clothing, other than in BF activities, and would expect this to form part of regular risk assessments.