10/12/2021- Beginner Fencer


What do new members experience when they join a club? What challenges are there to retention? The recording of BF’s webinar on creating a welcoming club environment is now available to view. Including insights from BF’s 90-day free Introduction to Fencing membership research.

The recorded session was hosted by Hannah Gavin and Virginia Bailey with guest Jeff Rosenbaum from Reading Fencing Club, who shared insights from the club.

Click to watch the webinar. Viewers will be asked to enter their name and email address to enable to webinar player, and have the ability to ask questions via the chat function from within the recording.


The session looked at people’s experiences around their journey into fencing, as well as addressing some of the challenges they faced to stay in the sport. Jeff from Reading Fencing Club shared some brilliant insights into how the club works with new fencers, from ensuring they are constantly listening and gathering feedback from new fencers that will help improve their experience, to inter-generational fencing that caters for families and how the whole club takes responsibility in welcoming new fencers to the sport.

Virginia Bailey Head of Participation said “We hope that the learnings we have taken from the research will help us all in thinking about the way we not only make sure our sport is welcome and open to all, but that the first experience someone has will make them want to come back week after week and stay engaged in fencing. With 76% of those who had never fenced before intending to renew their membership and keep on fencing, it shows there is great work going on in clubs. We know the work of clubs and coaches is crucial if we are to change people’s thoughts on the sport. Our recent Behind the Mask Survey highlighted that there are still barriers and perceptions around fencing that need to be broken down, but with 71% of those who had never fenced before having a more positive view since trying it, we know there is some great work going on in the community”.

We would like to say a big thank you to all the clubs involved in the research, in particular, Reading Fencing Club, OPS Epee Club and Foiled Again FC.

How does your club welcome new members? How is the perception of fencing changing in your community? Help us share the real picture. If you have a story you would like to share with us and the wider community, please email [email protected]

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