GBR Parent at FIE Competitions

Parents wishing to attend any competition with a fencer should read and follow both the parents code of conduct and the relevant athlete codes of conduct which can be found here.

Parents attending events where there are GBR squads (eg Cadet, Junior, Senior Euros and World, Nominated Junior World Cups) should read the following guidance.  This advice is designed to maximise the development opportunities of the athletes and the squads AND to ensure that you follow the rules and expectations of British Fencing and the FIE.

  • Remember you are a spectator! For a reminder of what that means read here.
  • Prepare your child to be independent and resilient. For more information regarding the expectations we have on athletes (and how you can help prepare them) please read here.
  • Respect the accreditation areas. Parents are usually classified as spectators and are only permitted access to the spectator areas.
  • Respect the role of the Team Manager and the Coaches. For the duration of the Championships the Team Manager/Coaches are responsible for supporting athletes and helping them to achieve the best performance that they can. It’s important that supporters avoid creating unnecessary distractions, for all the athletes and officials. Please also note that Competition Organisers will not engage with parents – the official escalation route is through the designated Team Managers.
  • Do not enter designated athlete changing and team areas. These areas are for the athletes to change, relax, talk tactics and in some cases get away from their anxious parents!
  • Do not give any medicine to any athletes (including your own child) without speaking to the Team Manager.  Testing takes place at most major FIE events and if an athlete fails a test they face a ban, even if you supplied the medication. If an athlete under the age of 18 is unwell and you think they need medication speak to the team manager or the competition medical team. Make sure you are aware of all the Anti Doping, regulations particularly if you typically are involved in giving medication to an athlete.
  • Respect and role model a professional performance ethos. Recognise that representing GBR, particularly at European and World Championships is not a holiday for the athletes and staff. It is usually the result of a significant investment of time, effort and money and often subsidised by public (taxpayers) funding.  Often parents are taking holiday to accompany athletes when they compete, so it is important for them to consider the impact this may have on those athletes they are there to support – in particular young athletes who may be influenced by the behaviour of their parents or the parents of their teammates. Behaviour which could negatively impact athlete performance (and in some instances result in athletes being disciplined) include drinking alcohol, staying up late, sight seeing and eating street food.
  • Consider staying at home .. or at least be invisible for the day! This is often a controversial statement but many athletes admit they find the presence of their parents (whether eyesight or ear shot) to be distracting.  The last question that an athlete should be asking their coach just before they are about to fence is ‘Where’s my mum/dad’. But if parents are around, children are more likely to get distracted, are less likely to listen to the coaches and are more likely to suffer from performance anxiety.



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