After the recent reviews of the progress of athlete performances with UK Sport and Sport England, British Fencing can confirm that there will not be any funding to support Men and Women’s Epee, Women’s Foil and Women’s Sabre at Podium / Podium Potential level (UK Sport funded).
As recently announced by the Performance Director at Performance Foundation level (Sport England funded) the resources will mainly be directed at Men’s Foil, Men’s Sabre and Women’s Foil. (For an explanation of the levels and performance pathway see http://britishfencing.com/news/latest-news/?n=1620)
It is our expectation that subject to the funding application to Sport England for the next cycle, that all six weapons will be supported at the Talent Development Centre level.
We have therefore taken some immediate decisions to help support the development of the weapons currently likely to only receive Sport England funded support at TDC level. These weapons will necessarily need to rely on volunteer help.
We have agreed to transition the squad leadership and management of GBR Epee at all levels to Jon Willis. Jon will work with the WCP to ensure that the GBR squad training and competition activity in Epee aligns with the overall performance goals of British Fencing with the objective of transitioning a squad of talented athletes to a public funded Podium Potential or Performance Foundations Programme in the future. Jon will be supported by a team of coaches including Neale Thomas and David Keszler. They, along with current Weapon Manager Dr Lindsay Bottoms, will make up the Epee Selection Panel who make recommendations for Senior, Junior and U23 selections to the Performance Director.
The plan is to develop the same model in Women’s Sabre to ensure that there is one point of contact for the Women’s Sabre programme, supported by Cyril Tahon, WCP Coach and a team of coaches. As soon as we have confirmed the people involved we will make a further announcement.
With the exception of any funding which will go to support the TDCs, the GBR squad programmes in these weapons (Men’s Epee, Women’s Epee and Women’s Sabre) will for the foreseeable future be funded entirely by donations to the BF Charity. Trustees of the BF Charity will release funds raised to these weapon programmes based on an agreed squad training and development plan.
1. Selection policies and procedures for nominated Junior/U23 & Senior International WC and GP competitions will continue to be written and managed by the WCP.
2. The International Cadet Working Group will continue to manage the Cadet selection policies and procedures.
Georgina Usher, CEO
Alex Newton, Performance Director
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