Last Updated: 19th April 2022
Event Information here.
If you have a question that isn’t answered already on the information page, in the below or the associated news posts, please contact us here.
Why didn’t we publish earlier?
On 14th March this news post was published to inform the community of the date. We would have liked to have gone out earlier to confirm this date. However post-pandemic we are facing significant difficulties securing venues due to lack of availability and staffing shortages across facilities which delays the contract process.
The issues with venue availability is one facing the whole of the sports sector and is not restricted to fencing alone. During the pandemic some venues have closed and there is significant pent-up demand across the sector. BF is in contact with other sports, Sport England and UK Sport as we try to address this challenge.
We were ultimately been faced with a decision to go ahead on the dates where a venue is available or cancel the event. And we announced this as soon as we had confirmation that the venue had our booking.
Why are there two nationals in one season?
The 2021 National Championships would normally have been held in April 2021 (pre-pandemic, April has been the traditional month for Senior Nationals). This was not possible due to COVID restrictions.
The venue for the November 2021 weekend was originally booked for the London and Eden Cups, but when those events were cancelled (due to Covid) we decided to use the opportunity to restart BF events and provide the community with the chance to compete after a long break. With the unpredictability of knowing what restrictions would or wouldn’t be in place over the last couple of years, it has made planning events a challenge and we didn’t want to miss a window of opportunity to provide the fencing community with the opportunity to come together for the first time since 2019.
Historically the National Championships should be held at least once in any Calendar year, and BF do the best to work around that, noting the seasonal variations. Whilst for 2022 we have ended up in June we hope that venue availability might support a return to the traditional April time frame in 2023.
We appreciate that the a bank holiday is not ideal for everyone, however with the various requirements to host a fencing competition of this size, we are limited to which venues we can use and the availability of these venues is a factor.
With the GB Cup and B Nationals also taking place, with the size requirements and workforce limitations we need 3 days to run the competitions, or face further cancellations.
Why are you running a B Nationals?
The purpose of the B Nationals is to provide people with those who don’t progress beyond the poules, the opportunity to have more competitive fencing. The B Nationals was due to be implemented in 2020 (following considerable member feedback) but was cancelled due to the pandemic. We have factored the DT and refereeing requirements into the scheduling of the day. Following the 2022 event we will of course reflect and reconsider the 2023 event offer, taking member feedback into account.
Why isn’t the competition scheduled so I can also enter the GB Cup?
The GB Cup (details of the 2022 event here) was created in consultation with the Regions (launched here). It is a recreational membership event designed for intermediate fencers age 16+. We acknowledge that there will be a few fencers who would wish to compete in both, however due to the restrictions and challenges we are facing, the alternative would be to cancel one of the events.
Are referees being paid?
In conjunction with the refereeing community and following feedback from members BF is continuing to offer referees a daily payment on top of expenses (travel, accommodation and food). Referees will be paid £40 or £60 depending on their current level of refereeing qualification (domestic, active international). Whilst we won’t be increasing entry fees this year, we will need to look at the overall impact of increased costs in almost all aspects of running major events.
I have booked a holiday and won’t be able to fence!
If you still want to be eligible to represent GB please make sure you complete an exemption form. This also applies if you are unable to compete due to illness and injury. More information here.
Any more questions?
If you have a further question please contact us using this form.
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