12/03/2021- Referee


BF recently welcomed world class FIE referees Ambre Civiero, Vasil Milenchev, Isacco Scomparin, and member of the FIE Refereeing Commission, Claus Janka, who hosted a series of four interactive webinars on international refereeing.

Between the 5th March and 11th March, BF was delighted and honoured to welcome some of the world’s best international referees to deliver a series of webinars for Pathway referees, athletes, and coaches.

World-class referees Ambre Civiero (FIE Epee/Foil), Vasil Milenchev (FIE Sabre/Foil), and Isacco Scomparin (FIE Foil/Sabre) each ran a weapon-specific session for the participants, with in-depth video analysis of top-level Senior international fencing.

The series of webinars concluded on Thursday 11th March, with a session run by member of the FIE Refereeing Commission, Claus Janka, who brought his wealth of experience and insight to the room, with a presentation and discussion that covered topics including interpersonal skills that a referee needs, the relationships they must cultivate alongside a recognition of the unprecedented times we are living in, and the impact this has had on international sport. We were also delighted to welcome as guests to the session FIE Refereeing Commission President Mohamed El Motawakel and BF President Hilary Philbin MBE who both re-iterated the importance of continuing referee development activities and coming together as a community during these times.

Each of these was followed by a question and answer session. This gave participants the chance to ask questions which included discussion of current and future trends in refereeing, how to manage coaches and spectators, and advice for younger referees embarking on a career in refereeing.

Steve Kemp, Head of BF Pathways, said, “The ability to better understand current World Class refereeing is a vital skill, not just for our developing referees but also for our athletes and coaches. In our recently published Athlete Development Pathway, we highlight the importance of developing these skills as athletes learn to perform at the highest international levels”.

Reflecting on the foil webinar, Isacco Scomparin said, “It was a great honour for me to participate in this seminar series, the group of referees I was working with were very interactive and well prepared. The questions asked during the practical session were intelligent and I found this part very entertaining and informative. I also appreciated the presence of the most established British coaches and athletes, which led to a very nice exchange of ideas. The signs are great for the development of British refereeing”.

Following the epee webinar, Ambre Civiero said, “Thanks to British Fencing for organising these refereeing seminars. It is very nice to reconnect with the international fencing community after so long. Sharing our experience is vitally important for developing referees at all levels. Establishing communication between all the participants is one of the key elements to develop the fencing that we love”.

Georgina Usher, BF CEO said “Whilst many of us are looking forward to getting back onto the piste (and back to international competition!), this has been a great opportunity to re-connect with international colleagues and bring our communities closer together to support each other as we continue our development journeys. I’d like to take this opportunity to thank Ambre, Vasil, Isacco and Claus for sharing their wealth of knowledge and experience”.

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