Athlete Support & Funding Opportunities

BF is a small National Governing Body without the funding or resources to be able to meet the financial needs of all the athletes representing GBR.  Instead through the BF Athlete Development Programme we work to identify sources of funding and support and where we can, helping athletes to access them. (For more information about how the BF Athlete Development Programme is funded please click here.)

There are a number of different avenues of funding that talented athletes can access to support their ambitions to compete at the highest level. Awards typically come in the form of discounted access to facilities, specialist coaching, monetary grants or a combination of the two. This page will detail some of them, but it is by no means an exhaustive list and there are a number of private charities that offer support to athletes across the country, so athletes are encouraged to do their own research.

Funding and support for fencing and fencers is a privilege not a right. Whilst athletes cannot always control results, they are expected to uphold the values of the ADP in the way that they behave towards organisations that provide funding and support. This includes demonstrating gratitude (saying thank you to those organisations and individuals that fund you!) and taking responsibility for delivering on any conditions of support. This might include personal appearances or social media activity. By treating those that support us with respect and upholding our commitments to them, we increase the likelihood that support will continue, for current and future generations of athletes. We also enhance the reputation of our sport which increases the chances that we can attract further sources of funding and support for athletes.

In light of the current situation with COVID-19, some of these funders may be operating adjusted programmes and timeframes to normal. BF recommends athletes looking to apply for specific programmes regularly check for updates on the webpages of the specific funders.

Local Authority

A good first port of call is your relevant local authority, many of them offer discounted leisure and fitness centre membership or monetary grants for talented athletes.

 

The GLL Sport Foundation

The GLL Foundation is a charity that supports 2500+ athletes per annum across the UK including a number of fencers. This support provides fencers with financial assistance and/or access to training facilities through their network of gyms.

For information on the criteria visit https://www.gllsportfoundation.org/awards-criteria

For information on how to apply visit https://www.gllsportfoundation.org/howtoapply/

Applications are submitted directly to GLL, and the application window typically runs from 20th December to 20th February annually, with awards running for a year from 30th April.

 

Everyone Active Sporting Champions

Everyone Active Sporting Champions is a programme that offers support to talented athletes across the UK through its network of fitness and leisure facilities and close ties to local authorities. They have Gold, Silver and Bronze awards ranging from discounted use of facilities to monetary awards. Full details can be found on their website

Applications are submitted directly to Everyone Active Sporting Champions, and the application window typically runs from the end of January to the end of February, with awards being confirmed shortly after and running for a year.

 

University Scholarships

Many universities offer support for talented athletes through scholarships and bursaries offered to athletes. There may be several tiers of support offered, with the specific criteria for scholarships and different levels of support being specific to the university.

When considering applying to different universities, athletes should take the time to research the different support packages that universities offer, this could be done by checking published content on websites, speaking with other athletes that are already enrolled at the universities or contacting the university directly.

We encourage fencers to explore what funding and Sport Scholarships are available to them at their university. References and supporting documents can be provided by contacting athletedevelopment@britishfencing.com

 

SportsAid Core Awards – England, Scotland, Wales only

SportsAid helps the most promising young British athletes by providing them with financial support, recognition and personal development opportunities during the critical early stages of their careers. SportsAid helps more than a thousand young talented athletes across the country every year from over 60 sports – most of which are Olympic and Paralympic disciplines.

SportsAid’s objective is to support the next generation of the UK’s brightest prospects who receive no other funding and rely on parents for support for all aspects of their training and competition. Typically, SportsAid aims to support athletes between the ages of 12 and 18. with Core Awards up to £1,000 per athlete.

SportsAid Awards are decided via a nomination process that typically runs through October and November, with awards starting in April. With each sport having a fixed number of awards it can allocate per year. The nomination process is slightly different depending on which Home Nation an athlete is based in or represents

For athletes based in England, nominations are completed by BF’s Athlete Development Programme. Eligible athletes on the ADP will be invited to apply.

Athletes in Scotland should visit the SportsAid Scotland website for more details.

Athletes in Wales should visit the SportsAid Wales website for more details.

It is important to note that SportsAid raises funding for athletes through donations and charitable events, and as such SportsAid advises that its awards are always “up to” an amount, rather than a guaranteed amount, and while SportsAid will endeavour to provide support to all athletes nominated for an award, this will not always be possible.

Note – An athlete with a SportsAid Core Award is not eligible for Backing the Best or TASS.

 

The Mary Peters Trust – Northern Ireland only

The Mary Peters Trust is a financial award for athletes based in Northern Ireland. It provides financial support to talented athletes who need support for specific events in the year.

More information can be found at the Mary Peters Trust website.

Applications are made directly to the Mary Peters Trust, with a deadline of the start of March each year. Support lasts for one year.

 

Talented Athlete Scholarship Scheme (TASS) – England only

TASS (Talented Athlete Scholarship Scheme) is a Sport England funded programme embedded within Universities across England to help athletes in education – aged 16-plus – to get the very best from their sporting and academic careers without having to choose between the two. It provides a package of support services from experienced sports science and medical practitioners (S&C, physio etc) to a limited number of athletes similar to many university scholarship programmes.

TASS places are allocated annually to athletes on British Fencing’s Athlete Development Programme, and the process is administered by the Athlete Development Programme staff and coaches.

TASS supports student-athletes through annual individual awards or sport-specific projects. They operate during the academic year from September 1st – August 31st. BF nominates fencers before the start of each fencing season to be supported in that coming season.

More information can be found at the TASS website.

The Athlete Development Programme nominates athletes for TASS awards, with the nomination process typically running from early July to mid-August each year, with awards beginning in September and running for a year.

Note – An athlete with a TASS award is not eligible for a SportsAid Core Award, but may be eligible for Backing the Best.

 

Backing the Best – England only

Backing the Best is an award funded by Sport England and managed by SportsAid. Its aim is to help athletes compete and train to their full potential who might otherwise be unable to due to financial circumstances with the objective to make Talent Pathways more inclusive.

Backing the Best awards can be up to £5,000 per athlete. Awards contribute to essential costs such as travel, accommodation, kit and support by coaches and physios.

There are a limited number of Backing the Best awards available to each sport.

As with a SportsAid Core Award, British Fencing’s Athlete Development Programme nominates athletes for Backing the Best awards, based on the number of places allocated by SportsAid. Awards are made by SportsAid on a case-by-case basis.

To be eligible for nomination fencers must be involved with the Athlete Development Programme, be living in England, be likely to represent GBR, and have a household income less than £50,000. SportsAid are responsible for the means testing for this award based on the information fencers provide directly to them to them.

The application process typically runs through October and November, with awards starting in April.

To be put forward for the Backing the Best award please follow the below process.

  1. Familiarise yourself with the information on the SportsAid website
  2. Submit your Athlete Profile to athletedevelopment@britishfencing.com and state in the email that you wish to be put forward for the Backing the Best Award.
  3. State that you meet the eligiblity criteria.
  4. If your expression of interest is successful you will be invited to complete the online SportsAid Athlete Portal, this must be done before the specified deadline.

Please note that SportsAid awards can only be awarded to fencers registered with BF as living in England. For information on similar support outside of England please contact your respective Home Nation or visit http://www.sportsaid.org.uk/.

More information about Backing the Best can be found in the Backing the Best section of the SportsAid website.

It is important to note that SportsAid raises funding for athletes through donations and charitable events, and as such SportsAid advises that its awards are always “up to” £5,000, rather than a guaranteed amount.

Note – Athletes in receipt of Backing the Best are ineligible for SportsAid core awards, but may be eligible for TASS.

 

UK Sport Funding – Named Athlete ‘Podium’
As a ‘Progression’ funded sport BF can apply for individual named athletes to receive Podium level Athlete Performance Awards (APAs) to support athletes with their sport related costs in aiming to medal at the next Olympics. Alongside the APA, BF will also apply to UK Sport for programme costs which help fund the system and structure, including the staff costs – to support the athlete and deliver on the associated requirements (management, reporting, pathway development) expected of a funded programme. The performance criteria for a Podium athlete includes medal winning performances at Senior World Championships and/or Olympics.

UK Sport funding applications for fencing are submitted by BF as the National Governing Body in accordance with processes and timescales set out by UK Sport. More information can be found here – Investing in Sport | UK Sport and here – How UK Sport funding works | UK Sport

 

UK Sport Funding – Confirmation/Academy (Previously Podium Potential)
As a ‘Progression’ funded sport we are working on an ongoing basis with UK Sport to understand the process by which we can apply to can apply for funded athlete spaces at Confirmation/Academy level. (Previously known as Podium Potential). There are expected to be minimum performance criteria in relation to Senior European and World Championships alongside trajectory evidence to medal success in 2028.

UK Sport funding applications for fencing are submitted by BF as the National Governing Body in accordance with processes and timescales set out by UK Sport. More information can be found here – Investing in Sport | UK Sport and here – How UK Sport funding works | UK Sport

 

UK Sport – National Team Funding

As part of the UK Sport package of support there are limited funds to support athletes to attend major events such as Senior Europeans and World Championships and there associated preparation camps. This funding is normally applied as a subsidy to athlete costs which means that BF don’t pass on the full costs of hotels/entry fees. Details of how the funding is used for specific events will be published alongside event information.   Funding is usually applied equally to all athletes attending the event, but in some cases may be focussed on athletes/teams with the potential to deliver a performance which would meet entry criteria for Academy/Podium programmes, but who also face financial barriers in attending the event.

UK Sport funding applications for fencing are submitted by BF as the National Governing Body in accordance with processes and timescales set out by UK Sport. More information can be found here – Investing in Sport | UK Sport and here – How UK Sport funding works | UK Sport.

 

Sport England – Talent

Sport England Talent money funds the areas of the ADP system and structure which support from U17 to U23. These funds will provide ADP athletes subsidised access to training, coaching and international events as part of an ongoing athlete development programme. Sport England Talent funding is not used to provide grant money to individual named athletes.

Sport England funding applications for fencing are submitted by BF as the National Governing Body in accordance with processes and timescales set out by UK Sport. More information can be found here – National Governing Bodies | Sport England

 

Fencing Specific Charities

There are a number of Charity organisations separate to British Fencing. For details on applying for support please follow the links below:

British Fencing Charity – BRITISH FENCING CHARITY

The Epee Club – The Epée Club (epeeclub.org.uk)

The Sabre Club Charitable Foundation – The Sabre Club Charitable Foundation. Charity No: 1189637 – The Sabre Club Charitable Foundation – a charity for sabre fencers (tsccf.uk)

 

 

 

 

Return to ‘The ADP Zone‘ to find out more information about the work that we do.

 

JOIN TODAY

Free Intro Membership

Activate your free, 90 day membership to British Fencing today. Membership insures you to fence at any British Fencing club.

CORE COACH

Core Coach Offer

Does your organisation want to bring fencing to your community? Explore our core coach course, no experience required.

LEARN MORE

Calling All Teachers

Start your journey to becoming a community fencing coach. Introduce fencing to pupils for as little as £20. Find out more today.

Join the conversation. Share your stories using #BritishFencing on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram

Our Partners

  • Our Partners