National Development Manager, Ben Campion, says: “Developing young leaders has allowed us to increase the number of opportunities to participate in fencing.”
At the 2011 School Sport Conference at the Telford International Centre, British Fencing gave schools the chance to win a free GO/FENCE leaders’ course by correctly guessing the identity of a “mystery fencer” – Denise Lewis, who tried fencing at the 2009 Sainsbury’s UK School Games in Wales.
The lucky winners were Our Lady & St Chad Catholic Sports College in Wolverhampton, who already have a strong fencing tradition following their involvement in the Change4Life programme.
Their course was delivered on Thursday 12th January 2012 by Roger Simmonds, a GO/FENCE tutor and coach at Birmingham Fencing Club. Following the course, at which seventeen new leaders were trained, the school now have plans to run another course for school staff and set up a club.
Rebecca Gingell, OLSC School Games Organiser was full of praise following the course: “Here at Our Lady and St Chad Catholic Sports College, fencing has encouraged many of our students to try something new, particularly non-sporting pupils who have been given the opportunity to take part in a more ‘unusual’ sport.”
“The OLSC leadership academy has developed a fencing club, which is chaired and taught by our newly-qualified GO/FENCE leaders. These young people have promoted and managed the club from the start, raising the profile of fencing and the Olympics within the leadership academy. Fencing participation has been excellent with over 300 pupils participating to date and the OLSC fencing club plan to continue their positive work with fencing in Wolverhampton.”
“In November 2011, eight of our young fencing leaders demonstrated fencing at our Black Country Level 2 S.M.I.L.E (Sports Ability Multiskills Inclusive Links to clubs’ Events) event where special schools and individuals with special education needs attended. Fencing proved to be very popular with the young people and this resulted in OLSC being invited back for the summer S.M.I.L.E event in 2012 to deliver sessions.”
“OLSC fencing club would like to say a huge thank you to British Fencing, who have given a great deal of help and support over the past year, in particular Jack Boteler and Holly Miles. We have really enjoyed working with British Fencing, and hope to continue the good work with fencing in Wolverhampton.”
Coincidentally, this is not the first time that British Fencing has worked in tandem with OLSC. At the aforementioned School Sport Conference, leaders and students from the school put on a 45-minute GO/FENCE demonstration in which Baroness Sue Campbell CBE, Chief Executive Officer of the Youth Sport Trust, participated. Click here to see footage of the demonstration. An interview with students and leaders from the school can be found here.
Ben Campion, British Fencing’s National Development Manager, had the following to say: “At British Fencing, we are really proud of our GO/FENCE leaders and it was a fantastic privilege to be able to work with OLSC to develop a new group of young leaders. Developing young leaders has allowed us, as a sport, to increase the number of opportunities to participate in fencing. As you’ll see from the footage of Baroness Campbell being instructed by a young leader, GO/FENCE leadership is a fantastic way of exposing people of all experiences – both adults and children – to fencing.”
For more information on the GO/FENCE programme, please contact Jack Boteler.
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