The Board of British Fencing (BF) is responsible for the overall governance, development and management of the sport of fencing in GB. The Board sets the strategic direction of the sport, appoints the CEO and monitors progress and results.
The Board consists of eleven Board Directors, of whom eight are elected and three appointed by the Board (these three being the Chair of the Board and of British Fencing, and two Independent Directors). The Board’s quorum rules specify that the elected members must always be in the majority. In addition to these voting directors, Board meetings are attended by the BF President and Home Country and athlete representatives. Staff members attend some meetings, or parts of meetings, to brief/advise the Board.
Although some Board members may be content to give out contact details, normally they should be contacted through Head Office or 0208 742 3032 in the first instance.
Pat Aiyenuro joined the Board in 2020. Pat joins the Board after 17 years of volunteering in the sport at all levels from running one of the UK’s most successful community clubs to team managing GBR teams. Awarded a BEM for services to sport in 2017, Pat has been active in community projects to make fencing more accessible and inclusive. Pat’s other roles include Weapon Manager, Chair of Sabre Selectors, and BF International Liaison Officer. Outside of fencing Pat brings her experience as a school governor and charity board trustee.
Pat is the Board Anti-Doping Lead: https://www.britishfencing.com/about-us-zone/the-board-zone/board-anti-doping-lead/
Mary joined the Board in 2021. Mary joins the board after 19 years of fencing internationally for GBR, at Cadet, Junior and Senior levels. She has been ranked 1 at each age-group, 3 times British Individual Champion, Commonwealth individual medallist and team champion, and French N1 team Champion after fencing with her Beauvais club for many years.
Mary is a Paediatric doctor in the North West (Mersey) region, and specifically works on Safeguarding children in her day job.
Tommy was elected to the Board in 2018.
Tommy has fenced Epee internationally since the age of 14, representing Great Britain at Cadet, Junior and Senior levels. He won the Junior Commonwealth Games in 2015 and continues to compete on the Senior domestic and World Cup circuits. Having been on the World Class Programme and taken a year to fence full time, Tommy graduated from Durham University in 2018. While at university he helped to create and chair the Youth Panel and the Senior Athlete Representative panel. These two bodies provide representation for the interests of elite fencers across Great Britain.
Caryl was elected to the Board in 2014 and re-elected in 2018.
Caryl Oliver started fencing at 12 and has been involved as a competitor and administrator ever since. In the early 70’s Caryl was a committee member of LAFU then moved to Australia where she was a director of both the State and National body as well as winning gold medals at Australian, Oceanic and Commonwealth individual and team level.
Caryl returned to the UK in 2010 to join LOCOG and deliver the Fencing and Wheelchair Fencing in London in 2012. Caryl is a member of the FIE Council for Veteran Fencing, joined the British Fencing Board in 2014 and became President of European Veterans Fencing in 2016. When not engaged with fencing, Caryl is a founding director of the International Association for Mobile Learning and is a consultant to a variety of organisations who are seeking to move training and learning delivery into a mobile or online environment.
Matthias was elected to the Board in 2018.
Matthias began fencing in 2016 and quickly became infatuated with the sport. This passion has grown into a powerful drive not only to train, but to become more involved in the fencing community. While developing his basic knowledge and skills of fencing, he became interested in refereeing. Since he began refereeing he has endeavoured to become involved in all major British Fencing competitions, either as a fencer or a referee.
By becoming a Board Director of British Fencing in 2018, he hopes to be able to offer his professional skillset to the community that has given him so much. He sees this as an opportunity to share his passion for the sport and to help to raise the profile of fencing within the United Kingdom.
James Williams joined the Board in 2020. James has been involved with the sport of fencing for 37 years, representing GBR at three Olympic Games. As an athlete he served on the FIE Athletes Commission and the Board of the British Olympic Association and over the years has had extensive experience in a variety of roles including that of coach, coach developer, Performance Manager, Weapon Captain, selector. James joins the Board with a wealth of public sector experience and is currently an Executive Director in one of the largest unitary authorities in the South East of England, leading on a range of programmes that interface, health wellbeing, and sport.
Mark has extensive experience running technology businesses over the last 20 years and remains Chairman of his own IT services business. He has a passion for sport, competing in the 1996 Olympics in sailing and has a MSc in Sports Performance Analysis. He was, until recently, elected chairman of the largest youth sailing boat association in the UK, is a member of the ASA Audit, Risk and Probity committee and a panel member of Sports Resolutions. He is also an independent governor of a London primary school.
Mark is Chair of the Board: http://britishfencing.com/uploads/files/bf_chair_responsibilities_v2.0.pdf
Yashmin was appointed to the Board in 2018. In March 2019 she was appointed as the Board Safeguarding Champion.
Yashmin has had an extensive career in Banking including roles in Personal Banking, Multi-National Corporate Banking, Credit Analyst and now works in Wholesale Banking where she manages numerous Credit Policies introduced from Tokyo to be applied in UK banking. She was also Secretary for the Credit Risk committee and responsible for organising Board papers.
Yashmin revived her love for sports in 2008 when she volunteered for Muslim Women’s Sports Foundation. She organised Basketball sessions aimed at increasing BAME Female participation.
In 2014, Yashmin established Muslimah Sports Association (MSA). Through this work she has delivered sporting opportunities to BAME women including coaching courses and tournaments working in collaboration with Sporting Equals, Badminton England, Mind Charity, Bangladesh Football Association and Dagenham & Redbridge FC, London Sport, The FA, Essex FA , BACA and British Fencing.
In 2017 she was nominated for numerous awards including Sporting Equals, Women’s Sports Trust and Muslim News Awards. She won the Muslim News Award which recognised her achievements to increase BAME female participation and in 2018 won the London Sports Work Force Award. She also became a Trustee at Muslim Women’s Sports Foundation (MWSF), working to raise awareness of the barriers faced by Muslim Women in Sports. Yashmin is regularly involved in consultations including England Hockey, England Cricket and The FA. She has also worked with the charity Mind to identify the link between sports and Mental wellbeing.
Yashmin has recently been appointed Council and Inclusion Advisory Group Member of the London FA.
Yashmin is the Board Safeguarding Champion: https://www.britishfencing.com/welfare-zone/board-safeguarding-champion-role/
Jochen was appointed to the Board in 2021. Jochen is a German and Brazilian citizen and a fully trained lawyer with a Doctorate in Law. He has spent 24 years in the sports industry, including leading major sports marketing corporations in Germany, Brazil and the UK. Since 2017, he has run his own boutique sports business consultancy from London, focused on the commercialisation of media rights to sports events, and the support of investors looking for stakes in sports entities. Jochen also sits on the advisory board of HYPE Sports Innovation, the world’s leading sports-tech accelerator, training hundreds of start-ups, enabling them to pitch to investors, as well as providing them with pilots with a wide range of commercial partners.
Jochen is the Board Senior Independent Director: https://www.britishfencing.com/about-us-zone/the-board-zone/board-senior-independent-director-role/
Jade was appointed to the board in 2021 and qualified as an ICAEW Chartered Accountant in 2020 after starting a big 4 degree apprenticeship in accounting in 2015. She has worked in financial services, specialising in investment banking and insurance. Jade started her career in banking audit at KPMG and is currently the technical accountant at the UK’s largest pensions insurance specialist who manage over £60bn in assets and secure pensions for over 800,00 people. Jade is also an advanced level examiner for the ICAEW.
Jade is a foilist who occasionally picks up an epee. She started at age 10, competing internationally from age 13 and representing Great Britain on the cadet and junior circuits. Jade qualified for the cadet and junior European and World championships in Jerusalem and Plovdiv and won a team silver medal at the junior Commonwealth championships in Cape Town. She also has a couple of age group British Championship titles, represented Durham university 1st team, and won gold at the senior 5 nations with team England.
Tom was appointed to the Board in 2021. He is a Sport and Commercial Associate at a leading London law firm where he advises athletes, boxers, players, clubs, agents and governing bodies on a wide range of issues from sponsorship and image rights arrangements to disputes and regulatory matters. Tom is also the Founder of a global interactive entertainment management business that manages the careers of professional esports players and helps brands looking to enter the video games industry. In addition to his legal practice, Tom heads up the Sports Law Academy – a free-to-access, academic, distance-learning programme designed for junior lawyers, students and non-legal professionals looking to gain a practical insight into contemporary sports law issues.
Francis was appointed to the Board in 2021. Francis is a CIMA qualified accountant, with 20 years of post qualified experience. He has worked in large corporates and SME’s and has lived and worked in the UK and USA. He is currently Finance Director for a specialist Tour Operator.
Francis is also a foilist who began fencing aged 18. He fenced in the University of Surrey team and was chair of the Fencing Club in his final year. While living in the USA he regularly competed in club competitions around the state. He has recently restarted fencing after a few years’ break.
As at 03.11.2021, 42% of the occupied Director positions are women (5 of 12) and 58% are men.
As at 03.11.2021, 25% of the occupied Director positions are ethnically diverse (3 of 12) and 17% are Black (2 of 12).
Tristan Parris – England Representative
Jack Magill – Northern Ireland Representative
Vincent Bryson – Scotland Representative
Matthew Russell – Wales Representative
James Honeybone – Chair, Senior Athlete Rep Panel
For more information on elected and independent director appointment process please see the articles of association and byelaws. The Electoral Officer is listed here. The process is overseen on behalf of the Board by the Nominations Committee.
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