This article forms part of a series of reports which accompany the 2022-23 BF Annual Report.
In this report:
We have delivered more coach and workforce education and development opportunities than ever before, through a combination of BF led delivery and licensed education partners. These included BF’s first Learning Week and the development of online content that continues to build links to formal coach education. We continue to invest in upgrading courses and creating new tools to support existing coaches working in different environments and our Licensed Partners. The certificated coach education courses, Introduction to Coaching Fencing (ITCF) and Coaching Fencing (CFL2) are re-establishing towards pre pandemic levels.
Overview (metrics and KPIs)
With the return of face-to-face courses, the annual Stratford Coaching week originally organised by the late David Kirby restarted. This week long event offered three qualification courses using five to eight different coach developers supporting around 30 coaches from entry point coaching to aspirant performance coaches. The opportunity for novice coaches to see more experience coaches learning and developing is a positive aspect of the courses and the notion of learning coaches.
As part of our drive towards creating a curious coaching community, BF instigated a Learning Week in September 2022. The intention of Learning Week was to further embed the ‘Call it Attitude’ call to action published in August 2022. Learning Week was a proof-of-concept exploration of whether a Learning Week is something the community would support; over the course of 7 days more than 190 coaches, referees, volunteers, and workforce attended.
Areas in coaching that were covered included sessions around performance, creativity, psychology, performance data. Learning Week was considered a success and it was replicated again a year later.
Our work with other organisations such as UK Coaching and UK Sport offered other coach development opportunities. 21 coaches and staff members undertook 76 development opportunities across five different organisations. Each coach and staff member on average undertook 3.6 coach development opportunities in the year.
Opportunity Uptake (by organisation delivering the opportunity):
These events were a mixture of seminars, communities of practices, conferences and 1-to-1 Zoom calls. Looking forward, the aim is to continue these opportunities using the annual online BF ‘Learning Week’ to bring together and share learnings.
In 2023-24 there will be an increased focus on learning from other High Performance Sports programmes.
UK Sport– ADP Coach Chris Galesloot completed the High-Performance Coach Apprenticeship (HiCAP), supported through this programme by BF’s Head of People & Culture, Dusty Miller.
ADP Coach Lorraine Rose became the second female fencing coach to complete the Female Coaches Leadership Programme. The programme forms part of a plan to more than double female representation in the Olympic and Paralympic high-performance community in the three years from Tokyo to Paris.
UK Coaching – 6 Coaches were involved in 4 UK Coaching Coach Development Programmes.
2 ADP Coaches on Focus a programme supporting coaches to develop their knowledge and awareness of coaching behaviour, practice design and goal-setting.
1 ADP Coach on Horizon a programme supporting coaches to explore key themes in performance coaching, including coach welfare, ethical decision making, coach-athlete relationships and performance planning.
1 ADP Coach on Elevate a Programme supporting female coaches to gain clarity and confidence to commit to their ongoing personal and professional development needed to advance along their sport performance pathway.
2 ADP Coaches on Evolve, a programme supporting people who are in roles that support the development of coaching, coaches and athlete development pathways.
Hartpury College and Everyman Theatre Cheltenham. This day for 23 coaches was centred on exploring the notion of performance through the lens of theatrical performance. British Fencing hosted this event and extended an invitation to UK Coaching and other NGBs to enrich the learning experience for our coaches.
Change Foundation ASD Pilot – the exciting pilot project with the Change Foundation, continues with the on going development support to the project coaches. This building on the two-day BF Core Coach course delivering fencing to young people with Autistic Spectrum Disorder (ASD) The further work through a series of session exploring different activities and processes to enhance the experience for the young people in various settings including the after-school sessions.
Domestic Training and Development
The focus areas for 2023-24 were to pilot level 2 domestic para fencing refereeing education, review (and potentially recruit additional) referee instructors and mentors and re-start Level 4 exams.
We continue to work with competition organisers across the UK to identify opportunities to run Level 3 referee theory and practical assessment.
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