In partnership with England Fencing we are delighted to welcome Josef Thomas, the new Regional Liaison Officer (England) to the BF Development Team. This new role is being supported by British Fencing and England Fencing. The purpose is to provide an interface between the work of the BF Development Team and the England Fencing Regions and their clubs, specifically to support the aspirations of the Regions and Clubs in line with British Fencing’s strategy. This will be done, for example, by embedding new BF products within specific Regions and sharing of best practice between Clubs. Josef is currently working with the BF Development Team and England Fencing Board Members to agree a plan of action for 2017 onwards.
BF has established a link with Birkbeck Talent, the universities professional recruitment service linking employers with Birkbeck students and graduates. This has enabled the Development Team to secure two interns; one to support day to day business operations and the other to help drive and innovate some of our product development work and create our new Explore Fencing website (to be launched early 2017) in addition to our Explore Fencing social media platforms, e.g. instagram and twitter.
Our partnership with the Scout Association and London Youth continues to grow, with the numbers of young people taking part in fencing on the increase.
The BF Muslim Girls Fence Project has now been established as one of our most successful partnership initiatives tackling issues of stereotyping and breaking down participation barriers. Over the coming months we will be expanding the project beyond London to Birmingham. More information can be found here.
Following training of BF’s University Fencing Officers (U.F.Os!) in September ten more universities are now delivering our new product Sabre:Lite. The Sabre:Lite product is the result of 6-12 months work by BF that’s been supported by professional swordplay experts operating in our industry. A new resource has been developed and tested along with associated training for leaders and coaches.
Coaching Development Update
Over the last 6 months we have delivered over 55 fencing coach education courses to the existing coaching community, plus a range of providers operating in the fencing market. Through this work we have created a network of 460+ quality assured coaches to date. Later in December, a more detailed and focused update on Coaching Development will be available.
Private/Leisure Operators Update
BF has been working hard this year to establish quality assurance in our sport, across the leisure operator and holiday park market. We have established joint ventures to work together with organisations on creating new fencing experiences supported by improved staff training. We have also piloted a new licensing scheme to accredit organisations that want to establish an ongoing relationship with British Fencing to deliver these experiences.
AASE Programme Update
The AASE programme continues to evolve, with Cohort 5, who started in 2015 undertaking a summer residential training camp in August. We also invited another 10 fencers to join the British Fencing AASE programme in Szombathely.
The last few months have been spent promoting the programme to recruit for Cohort 6, of which we now have 40 potential starters.
Forthcoming training camps for Cohorts 5 & 6 are: