GBR Athlete Development Programme FAQs

The following FAQs apply to participation in the National GBR Development Programme which is delivered primarily through a series of face to face GBR Development Camps.


What are the aims and objectives of the GBR Athlete Development Programme (ADP)?

Please see the ADP Introduction page which covers the objectives the objective, goals, tactics and delivery mechanisms of the ADP

How do I apply?

Please see the ADP How to Apply page for information on eligibility and how to apply.

Who is it aimed at?

The programme is aimed at athletes between the ages of 15-23 whose aims are to compete at the highest international level for GBR. It is expected that athletes participating on the programme will have an existing personal development plan which will have been created in consultation with their coach.

What will I get out of it?

Every athlete that leaves the programme should be independent, resilient and organised and have a full understanding of what it takes to succeed at the highest level of the sport both as an individual and as part of the GBR team.

They will also have a greater understanding of their own athlete profile and where their strengths and  opportunities for improvement lie.

They will be confident that their personal development plan (which include training and competitions plans) is based on their profile, built in conjunction with their coach and the best expert advice that BF can source and sets out a journey as they seek to excel in Senior International fencing.

In addition they will be equipped with the knowledge to ensure that they can monitor and shape their personal development programmes in order to continue to improve their performances.

This will be achieved by providing opportunities to train and spar with the best fencers in the country and work closely with the best coaches. Support and education will be offered in all aspects of the athlete lifestyle, including; planning a season, critical self-analysis, diet and physical training, mental well-being.

Fencers will also have access to sport science professionals. This will be to develop strength and conditioning training, sports psychology and will be part of the development of their athlete profile.

Part of the programme learning involves better understanding the harsh reality of elite level sports performance. The programme will give fencers an opportunity to consider and talk about their future and we will provide fencers with information and support about educational opportunities, career options and skills development. This may seem to be a distraction but lifestyle planning and management will help to reduce the concerns of fencers.

Depending on where a fencer is based, they will also be able to attend additional weekly training sessions with other ADP fencers through accessing a Local Area GBR Development Centre. This is currently being trialled at the University of Bath, and ADP fencers have been able to use the university’s world class facilities, coaching and support staff. This has helped fencers develop their own strength and conditioning plans.

For those athletes that do not wish to go onto a high level Senior International career, opportunities will be provided to gain skills and qualifications in other areas of fencing eg coaching and refereeing.

How much will it cost?

At the moment athlete participation is subsidised by Sport England. If you are not an athlete resident in England you may be asked for a contribution to the cost of participation.

As a result, currently all training sessions are free, this goes for National GBR Development Camps and Local Area GBR Athlete Development Centres. Due to the number of fencers invited and limited funding we are unable to cover the cost of accommodation and travel.

Fencers should be aware that even though sessions are free to attend, fencers need to reserve their place. If they do not reserve a place at each one they wish to attend they risk losing a place if space is tight.  If you reserve a space and then subsequently do not show up we reserve the right to charge a cancellation fee.

Is it compulsory for selection?

There is no requirement for athletes who wish to pursue individual qualification/selection to be part of the programme. However, attendance at certain GBR Development Camps may be compulsory for athletes wishing to be selected to fence in GBR team events. For more information please see the relevant selection policies.

How will ADP training fit in with my club training?

Athlete Development Programme activities are designed to complement the training that goes on in clubs, not supersede it. ADP coaches and club coaches will collaborate on athlete profiles and athlete development plans and club coaches will be invited to attend ADP training opportunities.

What if I think my club coaching is better than the coaching I receive on ADP?
The purpose of engaging in the ADP is not to provide you with a replacement for your coach. It is to provide you (and your coach) with access to education and development opportunities to build on the work being done day in, day out in your club. If you and your coach believe that your athlete profile and athlete development plan is complete, and addresses all aspects of what a future successful international fencer we would still encourage you to speak to us so that we can find a way to support this.






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