At the end of the four-year funding cycle 2009 – 2012, and after the London Olympic Games, I announced on the Board’s behalf that a review would be undertaken of the World Class Program (WCP). The review findings were first presented to the BF Board by Peter King in December 2012. We were then into negotiations with UK Sport on the next cycle and the review helped shape and inform those Project Rio contract negotiations.
I can now give members the Board’s report on the Review: the delay in publishing this report is due to those on-going discussions with UKS. There will be separate announcements soon on the outcome of the negotiations.
Goals – in undertaking this review it was the intention of the Board and the executive to look back on the past four years cycle and identify lessons – with the goal of building a better WCP. The review findings have been and will be used to inform our talks with partners and funders, UK Sport, on the WCP for the next cycle.
Methodology – to provide the necessary background, the WCP Team undertook a detailed review assessment as is normal at the end of each four-year Olympic cycle. The independent insights the Board sought were then provided by Peter King before he took over as CEO. The Review covered the whole Olympiad, including of course the Olympic Year of 2012 and the unique impact on selection policies of the host nation places.
Findings Summary –
Strengths of London Cycle 2009 – 2012
Lessons of London Cycle 2009 – 2012
Key conclusions and actions – based on the findings of the review, the Board and the executive have begun to implement the following changes to the 2013-16 WCP:-
Stronger coaching structure – members will have seen that a new Head Technical Coach is being recruited to help raise performance standards and drive technical improvements.
Clearly defined Talent Pathway – we will announce details of our new Talent Pathway once we have finalised details with UK Sport and Sport England. Already a Performance Pathway Manager is being recruited.
Performance standards – as part of our UK Sport agreement we have to continue to raise performance standards and results to keep and increase our funding. In the short term this may mean smaller teams, but, as the athletes produce improved results, and the Talent Pathway develops new athletes, we aim to have full teams in all weapons, with the mission to compete and win medals on the international stage.
Selections for major competitions. Selection standards for future international competitions will be transparent, clear and published before each season.
Communications. Major changes or significant decisions will be communicated clearly, speedily and effectively to athletes and to the membership.
National Training Centre. We look to establish a dedicated National Training Centre for fencing within 2013.
Next steps – there is still significant amount of work to be done and much now depends on our continued talks with the funding partners. Over the next month the Board will be able to share more details of the Rio programme as we prepare for the new cycle from April.
Chair, British Fencing
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