For the purposes of this statement the following definition of disability is applied:
“A physical or mental impairment which has a substantial and long-term adverse effect on a person’s ability to carry out normal day-to-day activities.”
It is important to note that this can include both visible and invisible conditions.
Athletes selected to compete for GBR in FIE events from U17 to Senior level are expected to be able to participate in events without the presence of their parents/carers/guardians. This includes, but is not limited to, staying with the team in the team hotel, travelling with the team to and from official team hotels/venues (as appropriate), eating with the team and competing.
British Fencing expects that as a result of earlier interventions as highlighted in Expectations on Athletes at FIE Competitions and Role of Parents at FIE Competitions and that a young athlete will have been helped to develop the necessary skill set that will allow them to develop a level of independence that is necessary to compete at this level. It recognises that parental involvement will be required to diminish over this time.
Team Managers and Coaches will work with athletes with any mental, learning or physical disability (or illness or injury) to put plans in place to support individual athlete needs including a fencer’s readiness to compete at a given level. This is likely to include the fencer’s Individual Development Plan. Parents/carers/guardians will also be involved if the athlete is under the age of 18 or lacks the capacity to make decisions if over 18. This work will take into account reasonable adjustment necessary in accordance with the Equality Act 2010.
It is a requirement, and expectation, of selection that athletes and parents/carers/guardians inform BF of any mental, learning or physical disability (or illness or injury) at the time that selection is accepted. Should anything change prior to the point of travel they must email the Team Manager as soon practically possible.
There are rules set by the international federations and local organising committees which means that it may not be possible to accommodate the needs of all disabilities in non-disabled fencing events. Any athlete or parent that has a concern should contact BF at the earliest opportunity to discuss.
Only in exceptional circumstances (eg where the personal hygiene needs of an athlete can only be met by a parent) will BF permit parents/carers/guardians to travel in the capacity of a personal carer to non-disabled events. Any decisions will be carried out in conjunction with the athlete, their parent/carer/guardian, the athlete’s GP, British Fencing’s Chief Medical Officer and any other appropriate medical support services.
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