20/06/2017- Latest News

Talent Pathway Manager

With immediate effect, Steve Garrett will responsible for managing the delivery of the Talent Programme.  Steve will be taking on the role of Talent Pathway Manager for the duration of Maxine McCombie’s maternity leave.  Steve is being seconded from his previous BF role in the University sector thus bringing a strong appreciation of the wider work of British Fencing.


Talent Pathway Coach (Foil)

After an extensive two-stage recruitment process, Chris Galesloot has been appointed as Talent Pathway Coach for Foil.

A former member of the Dutch Senior Fencing team and BFA Level 5 Foil coach, Chris has been coaching in fencing clubs and at tournaments since 2003.  Most recently Chris has been working in a Senior Coaching position at Brentwood School and as the manager of London based Foil-club AllezFencing.

Chris will work closely with the Talent Pathway Manager and the Talent Coaches to deliver the Board agreed Talent Pathway objectives through:

  • As part of the Talent Pathway Team ensuring that the aims and objectives of the Programme, as agreed with Sport England, are met;
  • Working with the Talent Pathway Manager to ensure the learnings and culture of the Programme are delivered down the whole Talent Pathway;
  • Acting as the Lead Coach for the GBR Junior Foil Team at identified international competitions as part of the Talent Pathway Strategy, to achieve team and individual podium performances;
  • Leading and managing (in collaboration with personal coaches) the development and implementation of individualised training and competition plans for each identified athlete at Performance Foundation level; and
  • Work in a collaborative way with Talent Development Centre, Club and Personal Coaches, to support the development of training and competition plans for all athletes on the Talent Pathway.


Talent Pathway Coach (Epee)

After concluding a similarly extensive interview process, it was decided that at this point in time the Talent Pathway Coach position will not be appointed.

In order not to delay the development of the Epee Pathway, we will be establishing a short-term Epee Talent Pathway Working Group, whilst we review the longer term structure required to support the Talent Pathway in Epee.

The Working Group will report directly into Georgina Usher, CEO and will include Steve Garrett, Talent Pathway Manager (TPM), Jon Willis, Weapon Manager (Epee) and Tristan Parris.  The group will be responsible for ensuring that the development of the Talent Pathway in Epee is kept on track and aligned with the work being done in Foil and Sabre.

Jon Willis, supported by the TPM, will have immediate and specific responsibility for the production of the Epee specific Athlete Profile and Epee Training and Competition Plans.  Jon will also work within the Talent Programme to support the development of the whole (Epee, Foil and Sabre) programme culture and cascade this down to the Epee athletes and coaches.

Over the next six weeks, the Working Group will also be responsible for defining how the Talent Development Centre model can be implemented in Epee to deliver the best outcome for athletes and coaches whilst meeting all Sport England targets and requirements. 


Georgina Usher, CEO, said; “We are lucky in fencing that we have many coaches able to give excellent technical lessons to our young fencers who participate in our Talent Programme. The purpose of the Talent Pathway system and specifically the Talent Pathway Coach is not to replace these coaches, but to support them and collaborate with them to ensure our athletes have the best chance of success with the resources available. An important part of Chris’ role will be to ensure that we have defined a pathway through our sport for our young athletes, informed by athlete profiling work. Through this, our aim is to ensure that at every step of the pathway that athletes, coaches and parents can understand and work together on what is necessary to improve and succeed.”

Chris Galesloot, said; “I am extremely excited to be taking on the role with British Fencing. To be successful I believe that we have to put the athlete at the centre of what we do, and my role is to work with their personal coaches and other experts supporting them to ensure that every athlete on the performance foundation programme has a clear individualised competition and training plan.

I am also looking forward to working with the BF Coaching Development Manager to identify opportunities for coaches to have access to additional education as we look to create the next generation of performance coaches able to take our young athletes to the highest level.”

Jon Willis, Epee Weapon Manager, said; “For a variety of reasons, Epee has not been in a position to consistently produce the performances found in other weapons at Junior level.  This is a great opportunity to profile what it takes for an epeeist to succeed and use this as a basis to help and support our athletes and their coaches work towards international success. We are not short of young talent and I am also convinced that by introducing a culture of increased professionalism we can achieve consistent Junior success whilst also preparing athletes for a great career as Senior fencers.  I am very much looking forward to working closely with Tristan and the rest of the Talent Pathway Team and drawing on the expertise of some of the top coaches both in the UK and abroad to shape the future of the Talent Programme for Epee.”

Steve Garrett, Talent Pathway Manager, said; “I am delighted to be taking on the Talent Pathway Manager role and I am looking forward to working with this newly expanded team to implement the BF Talent Pathway. We now have a great mix of experience and skills in the team, and I am also looking forward to collaborating across the community to create the best offering for our athletes, whilst also providing development opportunities for their coaches.”

John Troiano, Board Director, said; “Over the next 18 months we have a challenging task ahead of us in creating and implementing a Talent Pathway Programme that can operate independently of a World Class Programme.  Alongside the performance elements of the Pathway we must also look to embed the recommendations from the recent Duty of Care review to ensure that our young athletes have the best experience we can offer.

I would like to take this opportunity to welcome the newest members of the Talent Pathway Team and believe we can look forward to an exciting future for our young talent in fencing in every weapon.” 


More about the recruitment and interview process

The roles were advertised on the BF website, UK Sport website and shared on Social Media Channels.

Each CV/Covering Letter was scored against the requirements of the role as published, and the highest scoring applicants were invited for an interview.

For foil, the first round of interviews was a panel interview consisting of the CEO, the Performance Director and an Independent BF Board Director, Janet Campbell (professional HR Director).

For epee, the first round of interviews was a panel interview consisting of the CEO, the Performance Director and the Talent Pathway Manager.

Every candidate was asked to prepare a presentation and given the same set of questions in the same amount of time. This interview was primarily a competency based interview. Candidates were asked to describe examples of how they have dealt with a variety of situations so that the panel could get an understanding of how well suited their skills, motivation and experience was to the role.

Based on the combined CV and 1st round interview results, a group of candidates were invited back for a 2nd assessment. This assessment involved a wider assessment of skills and competences needed for this specific role, and was conducted by BF staff members including members of the Talent Pathway Team, the Coaching Development Manager and the CEO.

During this half day assessment candidates were given several tasks to perform, independently and in small groups, replicating work that they would be expected to perform in the role.

Join the conversation. Share your stories using #BritishFencing on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram

Our Partners

  • Our Partners