14th October 2013
As part of its five year sponsorship commitment to British Fencing, Beazley is focusing a significant portion of its annual funding to developing fencing at grassroots level.
Working closely with Margaret Nolan and the leadership team at British Fencing, it was decided that the greatest impact would be achieved through investing in coaching. As a starting point, Beazley worked with the BFA to stage three regional tutor workshops which took place around the country in June. Then, last weekend, a large-scale National Club and Coaching Conference took place at Sandown Park, just outside London.
The national conference offered workshops on business skills, fundraising and sponsorship, increasing membership, athlete training plans, talent assessment and psychology. It attracted coaches from around the UK, including Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland. Highlights included a presentation from current Russian team coach, Christian Bauer, who has a host of achievements to his name including coaching the individual gold medalists at the 2004 and 2008 Olympics, with Italy and China respectively.
The conference was very well received by the 100 delegates who attended and initial feedback suggests that attendees found it inspiring and full of ideas for how to improve their clubs and coaching strategies.
Commenting on the success of the event, Margaret Nolan from British Fencing, said: "The National Conference was a huge success. The number of delegates was fantastic and all of the workshops were well received. I'd like to thank my team for making this possible, the speakers for being both enlightening and entertaining, Christian Bauer for his excellent keynote speech and Beazley for supporting us throughout. So far the feedback has been great and I already have some plans for next year's event."
Feedback from the conference will be used to shape similar activity in the future. Content from the conference will be made available online, both on the British Fencing website and on beazleybritishfencing.com, shortly.