Call It Attitude is an in-depth guide for athletes, parents, coaches and supporters that describes the journey through BF’s Sport England funded Athlete Development Programme (ADP). The ADP recruits fencing athletes who wish to work towards representing their country from Cadet (U17) level through to when a fencer might retire from high-level competitive fencing in their mid-thirties. Call It Attitude describes what an athlete and their support team can expect at each stage, with information and practical advice for each step of the journey.
As well as guidance, Call It Attitude seeks to illustrate the meaning behind BF’s philosophy of a ‘Fencer-Centred, Development-Driven, Competition-Supported’ programme that lies at the heart of fencing’s long-game and places the fencer firmly at the heart of every objective. Fencers and their support networks of coaches, clubs and families are encouraged to be the best versions of themselves and to place trust in the process, priming everyone to achieve fulfilling outcomes in the sport. Key to Call It Attitude is the title of the document itself. The phrase showcases the unifying yet purposeful mentality that defines a GBR fencer, affording them a sustainable battle cry.
Dusty Miller, BF’s Head of People and Culture said, “The purpose of Call It Attitude is to help us understand that each person’s participation in fencing is unique but our experiences should have commonalities such as mutual respect, excellence and a never-ending enjoyment of our beautiful sport. It is here to help us all understand our role and participation within the sport is of equal importance; the philosophy of being Fencer-Centred, Development-Driven and Competition-Supported will go a long way to helping us all have a long-lasting participation in fencing.”
Crafted upon BF’s values of Honesty, Respect and Excellence, Call It Attitude features Our Commitment which is BF’s anthem to core understanding, worded to communicate the underlying qualities that make up an effective athlete mindset.
Steve Kemp, BF’s Head of Pathways says, “Culture helps to determine a team’s focus, establishes the norms of acceptable behaviour and directly influences an organisation or team’s functioning and performance. Our Commitment, part of the Call It Attitude guide, was created by the athletes. Their input helps drive the culture that will support sustained optimal performance, persist across time in the face of variable results and lead to consistent high performance.”
BF’s CEO Georgina Usher said, “As we move forward to Paris 2024 and beyond it is important that we have a living, breathing testament to the high-performance fencing space, which keeps pace with our sport and sets out the framework under which we all, as fencers, parents, coaches, officials and staff, develop and seek success for ourselves and others, both within and through fencing.”
Call It Attitude has been designed as a consultative document that will evolve over time. British Fencing is actively inviting feedback from the GBR community on what they wish to see in the handbook, and how they think Call It Attitude should mirror their aspirations and experiences. Revised editions will be released as the guide evolves.