Introducing the new cohort for the Advanced Coaching Programme.

Come and meet the coaches who are taking part in Cohort 2 of the 2024/2025 Advanced Coaching Program, and find out what some of them had to say about the first day they attended in May.

Click on the coaches’ names to find out a bit more about them.

Paul Beasley

“The first day of the Advanced Coaching Programme set out to trailblaze a different approach to coach education.Firstly, there was no attempt to tell us how to think or what to do. Rather, it was more of a loosely guided exploration of how we coach and why we should think about how both the role of the coach and the provision of coach education could be evolved to the benefit of the fencer, coach and national team. Secondly, we were encouraged to work collaboratively and break out of our ‘club church’ mentality, thereby thinking of coaching as a more agile local, regional or national resource for fencers. All in all, it was a thought-provoking and positive start to the course.”


Phil Carson

It feels that coaching and coach education in the UK is at a tipping point and by bringing together the curious and the open minded, together with top class facilitation I’m optimistic after our first meeting that we can have a positive impact on next steps re thinking, practice and coach learning.”


Keith Cook

“I felt it was a breath of fresh air having the opportunity to share and discuss our values and beliefs. I feel having this environment to be curious and bounce ideas off of each other in a safe space can only make me better at my job.”

Michael Evans-Jones

“It was great to interact with other coaches in the sport, particularly those from disciplines that I would not normally connect with due to being in different events on different days throughout the season.  

The conversation was wide-ranging and very rewarding to be involved in forward-thinking and positive discussions regarding the future of fencing and coaching in the UK.  

Very grateful to Dusty, Lorraine and the team, in addition to GB Judo – sharing their space and having an insight into their operations proved a really useful physical environment to be in and around.

I’m looking forward to reflect more on the programme and challenging myself to explore new and innovative ways of coaching and support our athletes, fellow coaches and wider community. “

Alice Lancaster

“I was a bit intimidated about attending the ACP as I have only recently returned to coaching after having my second child; I hadn’t felt able to put myself forward for the course but James Williams encouraged me to go for it. I am so glad I did.

“The first day was really relaxed and collegiate, and I found that I had lots in common with all the other coaches on the course. I have felt a bit lonely as a coach over the last year but I have definitely found a community in my ACP cohort. It was refreshing to be able to discuss the challenges of coaching openly and honestly with others who have ideas to share, often having been through the same or similar things.

“Everyone has very different backgrounds, experiences and long-term goals but there is a sense of shared purpose amongst the group for fencing as a sport and our role as coaches in that. Even after only one day I feel we are team, resources and ideas are being shared and I have a renewed sense of direction in my coaching.”

Lewis McKinley

“I’m really glad British Fencing is running this Advanced Coaching Programme the way that they are. We’re not very far into it yet, but it’s been great to have the opportunity to spend time with other coaches in a space where we’re not ‘at work’.

“I’ve particularly valued being able to spend time with guided discussion about our individual values and motivations for coaching.

“The pre-work was a good challenge to explore and I’ve definitely felt supported through that challenge. Although we’re towards the start, I’ve already started to implement changes to improve not just my practice, but also the clubs, coaches and athletes I work alongside. I’m looking forward to where this takes my development and how it can benefit fencing in my area.”

Marion Nemitz

Marion Nemitz giving an individual lesson to a young foilist. There are fencers sparring in the background.

Marion is a fully qualified BF Level 3 coach who is dedicated to her students and the sport. She currently works at multiple clubs and schools across London. Her strengths lie in building passionate and mentally strong fencers.

Rob Partridge

Rob is a coach at MX Fencing Club.

“As a coach, you trust the athlete will do what you recommend, however, this should not be done without the ability to question, as trust and honesty work both ways.

Potential and ability are in every individual to reach and discover, I coach because when those discoveries are made, it is priceless.

I believe that we should empower athletes to be independent, resilient, and resourceful, and to ask searching questions of themselves and their coaches.”

Joe Pearce

Joe is a coach at Bristol Blades Fencing Club who’s philosophy is that training should be specific and purposeful, the more realistic the training situation the better it will translate to the piste.

Oana Puiu

“I would like to start by expressing my gratitude for the opportunity to gather with others who share a passion for sport, particularly the sport that has shaped me into who I am today.

“I came from my native country, Romania, driven by a desire to explore another culture in sports and to grow both personally and professionally as a coach. When I transitioned from being a high-performance athlete to a fencing coach, I never imagined that I would experience the emotions of competition through my fencers with such intensity.

“Thank you for creating meaningful experiences for me beyond the fencing venue and for encouraging me to reflect on the philosophy of fencing as I live and perceive it.

“This first meeting with colleagues who share my passion has been a delight, reassuring me that others face similar challenges, from interactions with parents to working with fencers.

“I feel we all aspire to improve communication and provide both moral and physical support to one another. As members of the same federations, we share the goal of achieving remarkable results and developing exceptional athletes who will make us proud on national and international stages.

“How can we better support each other, find solutions to the challenges we face, and achieve professional fulfillment? We will work on this as a team!
I have high expectations for myself and look forward to discovering more about myself and those around me as we progress through listening, understanding, and applying the philosophy of fencing.”

Kate Smith

Kate believes that: “Everyone can learn to fence and benefit from the experience”.


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