Please note, that in light of the current restrictions in many countries across Europe which have put a stop to all forms of competitive fencing, BF and the ADP are not able to offer guidance about specific competitions that might be appropriate for athletes. BF hopes that this will be able to change when the return to competitive fencing begins.
What are ADP competitions?
The ADP will nominate a mix of domestic and international competitions throughout a season, aimed at giving athletes opportunities to test themselves, learn and develop.
At the domestic level, The ADP will nominate events for the cadet and junior ranking list that is used to select for cadet and junior international squads. These competitions will be a mix of cadet and junior British Ranking Circuit (BRC) events and senior Open events.
At the international level, the ADP will nominate events through from the European Cadet Circuit, Junior World Cup circuit and European Under 23 circuit for the purposes of giving talented athletes development opportunity, and selecting teams for the European and World Championships.
In addition to the above events, the ADP may nominate and recommend specific additional competitions purely for developmental purposes.
The role of competition for development
Competition is a vital part of an athlete’s development at all levels. At the top level, it is performance at major events that many athletes measure themselves against. At younger ages, competition provides athletes with the opportunity to test their skills and preparedness under pressure, giving them feedback on how they have been progressing in training and areas for growth in the future.
There are many competitions that a developing athlete can choose from, and building a competition calendar that is appropriate for them, balancing the level of challenge with being able to learn from the experience is a vital skill for athletes to develop. It requires a clear understanding of their goals, what experiences they need to achieve those goals, an ability to accurately assess their current capabilities, and the organisational skill to put all of that into a coherent and flexible competition calendar. For many athletes, this will mean constructing a calendar from competitions across different levels to ensure a balance of events that provide tough challenges and events which give athletes the opportunity to refine practiced skills and gain confidence in their abilities.
For athletes wishing to compete at the international level, there may be a gap to be bridged between competing at the domestic level and competing at the international level. Some athletes may find that while they are perfectly capable of competing, and winning, at the domestic level, when they begin competing on the European Cadet Circuit (ECC), Junior World Cup (JWC), or Senior World Cup (SWC) circuits, that the required step-up is a large one. To help with bridging this gap, the ADP encourages athletes and their coaches to look at competitions that might serve to bridge this gap. This might include ECC or JWC events that are not nominated by British Fencing, Senior FIE Satellites, or domestic events in European countries. These competitions give athletes the opportunity to experience international fencing, at a level that might be slightly lower than British Fencing nominated events.
Making these competitions part of a structured calendar can allow athletes to build up to important competitions, ensuring they are able to perform at their best on the day. Including competitions which aren’t reliant on selection by BF and planning them in also gives athletes and coaches a degree of flexibility in their competition planning, meaning that a missed selection doesn’t mean missing out on international fencing experience.
For more information about the competition circuits, eligibility criteria, and selection policies for each age group, please follow the links below to go to the dedicated pages for each age group. Athletes wishing to compete at domestic events in Europe should visit the federation website of that country, or contact competition organisers directly, for information about how to enter their competitions.
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