16/06/2020- Latest News

Black Lives Matter – Feedback from athletes

Black British Fencers met with CEO to discuss ideas and next steps for BF.

Last week a small group of black British athletes met with the CEO of British Fencing to share their experiences in fencing and discuss ideas around how to improve equality, diversity and inclusion.

As a result of the meeting a number of areas were identified where action can be taken to support the black community in fencing. The three areas identified and discussed in the meeting were Education, Celebration and Support

Education – We discussed opportunities to educate the wider fencing community on the issues facing the black community, and how BF’s workforce education programmes can be improved to cover the issues that the black community face. One specific example was training international team managers to better support athletes when they encounter racism when travelling abroad as part of the GBR team.

Celebration – We discussed how it is important to celebrate our black community members and what they achieve in fencing, whether this is as an athlete, official (eg referee, team manager) or Board director. This can be done through the website (the athletes that are featured on the Home Page, articles in Latest News), Social Media or The Sword.  There are also opportunities to feature clubs and BF projects and programmes where significant numbers of young black people are involved. Engaging in Black History Month can help both celebrate the black community contribution to fencing and can also be used to support wider education.

Support – We discussed what more we can do to support the black community whether they are existing or future fencers. For existing young black athletes representing GBR, a mentoring programme linking them up with successful senior black athletes. For future fencers, reflect on the imagery that we use to brand and how we promote the sport to appeal more to young black people.

These areas and actions identified will form the basis of an action plan for BF. This plan will be further enhanced as a result of the Listening Events to be scheduled week of the 29th June (to be announced later this week).


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