29/09/2020- Articles

2019-20 Annual Report Series – The President’s Report

BF continues a series of articles based on the full 2019-20 Annual Report with the President’s Report from Hilary Philbin, including an update on International Relations. 

In the run up to the BF AGM on October 10th, we will be publishing a series of articles taken from the full 2019-20 Annual Report (found here).

The first of these articles was the Directors’ Report which included a summary of progress in key areas of work, accompanied by the diversity and governance statements.

In this article, we look at the President’s report from Hilary Philbin, including an update on International Relations.

President’s Report

As Chair of British Fencing’s International Relations Committee (IRC) I worked closely with Georgina Usher and UK Sport’s IR representatives regarding our IR strategy and our long-term succession planning. UK Sport funding continues to underpin our IR activities and this enables us to play an international role, working with the FIE and the international fencing community to protect and develop the future of our sport.

I was Head of Delegation at the FIE Annual Congress in Lausanne, Switzerland, in November 2019, and at the EFC Annual Congress in Dusseldorf, Germany, in June 2019, which was followed by the senior European Championships. Georgina Usher, as CEO/General Secretary, attended both events as 2nd Delegate and Pat Aiyenuro attended the EFC Congress as an observer.

I attended the Junior & Cadet World Championships in Torun, Poland, in April 2019 and the Senior World Championships in Budapest, Hungary, in July 2019. I also attended the Wheelchair Fencing World Championships in Seoul, South Korea, in September 2019 as a member of the Directoire Technique.

During the year I participated in two international ‘Good Governance’ workshops, the first of which was hosted by the Swedish Fencing Federation in Stockholm in September 2019, and the second by the Italian Fencing Federation in Turin in February 2020. I had arranged to host the 3rd such workshop in the UK in March 2020, but this had to be postponed at the eleventh hour due to the Coronavirus pandemic.

I continued as a member of a Commonwealth Fencing Federation Commission which has the specific long-term objective of fencing’s re-entry into the Commonwealth Games.

At home, I attended a number of events at both domestic and international level and, as always, I had the pleasure of presenting the Honours awards at the BF AGM.


International Relations Update

Great Britain continues to have strong representation on the FIE Commissions and Councils. FIE post-holders include Clare Halsted (Medical Commission & Head of the Anti-Doping Programme), Steve Higginson (Chair of the Rules Commission), Janet Huggins (SEMI Commission), Peter Jacobs (Legal Commission), Caryl Oliver (Veterans Council) and Georgina Usher (Women in Fencing Council).

A number of post-holders were selected by the FIE for the major championships:

  • Junior & Cadet World Championships in Torun, Poland, April 2019: Clare Halsted participated as FIE Medical Delegate and Anti-Doping Lead, and Georgina Usher as one of the two Safeguarding Officers which were appointed by the FIE for the very first time.
  • Senior World Championships in Budapest, Hungary, July 20: Janet Huggins participated as one of the FIE SEMI delegates.

Our FIE post-holders attended the annual Commission & Council meetings in Bucharest, Romania in June 2019, with Steve Higginson, Janet Huggins and Peter Jacobs also attending the FIE Annual Congress in Lausanne.

Steve Higginson, Janet Huggins and Peter Jacobs acted as FIE Supervisor at a number of World Cup foil and epee events –  Steve in Tauberbischofsheim, Paris and Dijon, Janet in Tallinn, Estonia and Leszno, Poland and Peter in Bucharest and Budapest.

As always, thanks are due to all our IR representatives, who continue to make their contributions to the world of fencing and its future.






The full 2019-20 Annual Report along with the accompanying accounts can be found here.

The next article in the series is the CEO report from Georgina Usher.


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