27/05/20 Additional links provided to CPSU guidance on online safety – see Safeguarding section below

11/5/20 Pentathlon GB has shared their top tips for a safe Zoom session, see section 5. below.

6/5/2020:  BF has provided a useful guide to Zoom training for coaches, written by GBR Sabre Coach Jon Salfield 

Fencing Coaches that are on the BF Register and meet the minimum standards are insured to provide instruction using on-line platforms provided, (as with all coaching practice):

  • the instruction falls under the remit of their fencing coaching qualifications
  • appropriate risk assessments are undertaken
  • suitable guidance is given to participants for each session/recording (see below)
  • BF policies are adhered to (see below)


1.    Pre-recorded content recommendations

Post content on a platform where further text information can be posted alongside the video.

It is acceptable to go through all the advice as part of the recording, but you may find that this takes too long. In which case you need to upload it and signpost in the recording. For example: “Please read the information down below before starting any activity”.


Sample introductory text

“Before undertaking any of the activities demonstrated in this video read the information provided below. It contains important information to help you to check that these activities are suitable for you, (considering your fitness and ability level) and that you have access to an appropriate environment to allow you to undertake this safely.  All activities are undertaken at the participant’s risk.”

Prior to starting the activities ensure that you have performed an appropriate warm-up/ suitable activation activities (mobilisation, pulse-raising, movement-based flexibility and movement practice)  OR

This video includes a suitable warm-up/activation activities however you may need to undertake a longer warm-up depending on your personal needs.”


Sample Generic Text

Include generic text, suitable for all physical activities:

  • Only undertake activities that are suitable for your level of ability, health and fitness.
  • Do not participate in these activities if you have any injuries
  • Ensure that you remember to work within your ability and physical limits, listen to your body – hydration, etc
  • Make sure you have undertaken an appropriate warm-up
  • COVID-19 – follow all government advice at the time for the country that you are in.


 Sample Specific Text

Include specific text which relates to your content, for example:

  • This video is recommended for experienced fencers/qualified coaches only.
  • You will need access to a space x size with non-slip flooring
  • Non-slip sports footwear must be worn
  • Masks must be worn/are not required


2.    Live content Recommendations

Use secure channels where you can control who is joining the session. Ensure that live sessions are conducted only for the benefit of existing members/ participants/ contacts who have demonstrated sufficient suitability to participate.

Sign-ups for sessions should include risk assessments – the advice for pre-recorded sessions above is a good place to start, however, the sign-up process gives you the opportunity to ask questions about fitness, ability and tailor your sessions to the participants.

For coaches and participants to be covered by BF insurance, participants need to be BF members – for those participants new to the sport the introductory BF membership is free

Think about safeguarding for any sessions where U18s or adults at risk may be participating.

Don’t forget the standard best practice introduction as you would do at the start of any class – how are you, any injuries, check you are in a suitable space, wearing the right clothes and so on. Advice would include:

    • that by participating they are doing so at their own risk;
    • a suitable, non-slip floor space is required and any potential obstructions in the vicinity are removed before they participate;
    • to avoid activities if they have, or suspect they may have any current health concerns, injuries, aches and pains;
    • avoid physical contact with other participants and where appropriate, adhere to social distancing guidelines;

Plan and practice your sessions, with a number of adaptations and progressions

You may wish to record your sessions (we have been advised that this may be useful in the event of an insurance claim), but you must ensure that you have the permission of all participants and that you have provided them with appropriate information and mechanism in place regarding storage, usage and retention.

If you can it is very useful to have two coaches involved – one to lead and one to help monitor and feedback to the participants.


3.    Safeguarding

If you are considering running any form of online provision it is important that you do not step away from your safeguarding responsibilities.

In line with our safeguarding and social media policies, there should be no one-to-one private communication between coaches and children and young people.   This is to protect everyone.   Using pre-recorded material to deliver coaching to young people is a good way of keeping everyone safe.  If you do want to use live streaming or something more interactive, then you need to think about who is on both ends of the stream.   Are they who you think they are?   Do you have consent from parents if you are streaming to under 18’s.   Who is responsible for moderating material and communications on that stream?  Is everyone providing any kind of coaching activity suitably qualified? If you have any safeguarding questions or concerns, please contact [email protected].

It is worth considering how you go about making sure that parents of U18s are present in some capacity – this could be part of the sign-up form where they agree to their responsibilities to provide a safe space and regularly ‘check-in’ during the session if possible. Not all U18 participants may be comfortable switching video on, and in which case the onus on monitoring the safe participation would need to lie with the parent/guardian.

The CPSU website provides access to expert resources and guidance about online safety including:

Remote teaching and coaching

Safeguarding guidance for sports organisations and clubs on online teaching and coaching to help them stay in touch with teams and club members during the coronavirus pandemic.

Online safety for sport

In this podcast, we explore the how sports organisations can keep children and young people safe whilst participating in virtual sport and physical activity.

Keeping safe online

In this webinar we looked at what sports organisations can do to safeguard both young people and themselves while interacting with members online.


4.    Use of BF logo/image rights

You should not use BF logos or official BF images, rights or association unless prior consent is sought and granted by BF (contact [email protected]). You may state factual information eg you are a qualified BF coach.


5.  Guidelines to using Zoom Safely

  • take the time to understand your Zoom settings before launching a meeting
  • nominate a co-host to moderate the meeting while you do the presentation
  • use the scheduled meeting option to create a unique URL for each meeting
  • make sure every meeting is password protected
  • insist your callers register for the call, in advance
  • switch on end to end encryption
  • lock the meeting once everyone has arrived
  • change your screen sharing to host only
  • create a ‘Waiting Room’ so people cannot join the meeting before the host.  This will allow you to admit people to the meeting one at a time
  • disable ‘File Transfer’ so people cannot introduce anything untoward into your meeting
  • use the ‘Allowed Removed Participants to Rejoin’ setting.  This will mean anyone who has been removed from the meeting cannot rejoin
  • in chat disable the facility for people to message people individually
  • if you have the setting ‘Stream to FB’ set to on – you need to check that you have not enabled ‘stream to YouTube – because your video will not be secure
  • never share your meeting URL on your personal meeting room URL in a public space or social media


6. Top Tips for Filming Fencing – how to make the most out of your set up



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