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2003 AGM Minutes

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These are the minutes of the 2003 AGM held on 26th April, 2003.


Beryl & Eddie Goodall, Linda Kent, Duncan Rowlands, Colin Walls, Mavis Thornton, Penny Tyson, Les Jones.


Gillian Prideaux, Graham Kemp, Yvonne Walls, Ian Manley

Matters Arising

  1. IOM Dispute arisen between R. Bartley & IOMFA re membership issues. This is being dealt with by K. Smith & P. Spink.
  2. Unaffiliated clubs not approached.

Minutes then passed as a true record of meeting of 27th April 2002.


  1. Letters from Mr. Bartley & P. Spink re above mentioned dispute.
  2. Intermediate Foil competition notification. This was received too late from Welsh Region for any of our qualifiers to be available.

Chairman's Report

Reports from the EFU and Regions Committees

One of the main themes from this year's meetings is modernisation. Part of this could involve the creation of an English Fencing Union with the British Fencing Association being an overall body representing English, Scottish, Welsh and Northern Ireland Fencing.

One of the problems with this concerns membership fees, since there is a differential between the countries in terms of both the fee and levy paid to British Fencing. This may be resolved with the introduction of a social members category.

Child protection is a major issue. If you are involved, as a coach or simply a regular helper and have not done the self-certification and CRB registration then you should do so now. We need to consider the creation of a regional Child Protection Officer.

Don't forget the clothing regulation change for 1st January, 2006. Now is the time to start looking at upgrading your equipment.

Fencing Honours and Achievements 2002-2003

As in previous years Jon Willis has a plethora of good results, including his 2nd place at the Commonwealth Fencing Championships, albeit fencing for Northern Ireland

Congratulations go to Steve Glaister, who made the cadet foil team for the World's in Trapani. Finishing 44th, he was the highest placed Briton.

Congratulations also to Jayne Crook, who made the junior epée squad for the World's

Congratulations too to James Thornton, who made the final 8 at Dinant


This is an eclectic selection of results for the season, if I have missed any of significance then I apologise

Mens Foil
Nick Dootson, 6th at Shropshire, 7th at Ashton, 20th at Leicester, 6th at Merseyside
Chris Kent, 11th at Shropshire, 6th at Ashton, 9th BYC Cadets, 11 BYC Juniors, 7th at Merseyside, 15th at Birmingham
Steve Glaister, 16th at Bristol, 2nd at Ashton Under-20, 8th at Ashton, 3rd in BYC Cadets, 16th at BYC Junior, 5th at Merseyside
Corin Beck, 1st at Ashton Under-20 and Ashton, 3rd at Slough, 2nd at Merseyside, 10th at Birmingham
Womens Foil
Charlotte Ramjing, 8th at Birmingham, 7th at Essex, 7th at Ashton, 2nd at Hereford & Worcester, 3rd at Merseyside, 3rd at Birmingham
Corrina Slawinski, 2nd at Shropshire, 8th at BYC Cadet, 14th at BYC Junior, 22nd at Leicester
Mavis Thornton, 11th at Hereford & Worcester, 7th at Merseyside
Hannah Burn, 1st at BYC Under-14 Girls Foil, 8th at Merseyside
Rebecca Bartley and Lara Kerrison, 6th and 14th at the BYC Under-14 Girls Foil
Sam Heath, 2nd at the BYC Under-16 Girls Foil
Mens Epée
Jon Willis, 3rd at Birmingham, 8th at Essex, 2nd at Bristol, 1st at Ashton, Leicester, Welsh, Shropshire, Hereford and Worcestershire, Merseyside, Northern Ireland, 2nd at the Commonwealth Fencing Championships.
James Thornton, 3rd at Shropshire, 2nd BYC Cadets, 8th BYC Juniors, 5th at Merseyside, 7th at Dinant, 2nd in the Public Schools Junior Epée
Alan Clark, 6th at the BYC Under-14 Boys Epée
Mark Howard, 8th at the BYC Under-16 Boys Epée
Womens Epée
Jayne Crook, 7th at the British Championships, 19th at Bristol, 3rd at BYC Junior, 2nd at Hereford & Worcester and 5th at Dijon
Rowena Kemp, 17th at Bristol, 3rd BYC Junior Epée
Louise Highton, 1st in the U14 girls at the BYC
Kelly Bird, 1st at Ashton, 2nd at BUSA, 16th at Welsh, 12th at Hereford & Worcester, 5th at Birmingham
Jaqui Roberts, 10th at Shropshire, 12th at Birmingham
Mavis Thornton, 3rd at Ashton, 5th at Merseyside
Emma Crump, 6th at Merseyside
Hannah Burn, 5th at the BYC Under-14 Girls Epée
Freya Hall and Natalie Harrold, 13th and 14th at the BYC Under-14 Girls Epée
Victoria Kennaugh and Megan Lomas, 12th and 13th in the BYC Under-16 Girls Epée
Mens Sabre
Mike Swiffin, 2nd Ashton, 12th at Hereford & Worcester, 3rd at Merseyside
Simon Donald, 6th at Merseyside
Duncan Rowlands, 5th at Ashton, 8th at Merseyside
Stuart Marshall, 12th at Merseyside, 3rd at English Youth Championships (Under-16), 7th at BYC Sabre (Under-16), 19th at Birmingham
Tom Mottershead, 6th at the BYC Under-14 Boys Sabre
Womens Sabre
Yvonne Walls, 9th at Hamlet, 18th at Bristol, 1st at Ashton, 7th at Hereford & Worcester, 13th at Welsh, 7th at Merseyside
Giselle Cullinane, 16th at Hamlet, 19th at Leicester, 2nd at Merseyside
Adrienne Tomor, 11th at Welsh, 6th at Merseyside
Rebecca Bartley, 6th at the BYC Under-14 Girls Sabre
Zoe Hibberd and Shauna O'Brien, 15th and 16th at the BYC Under-14 Girls Sabre
Hannah Flint, 3rd at the BYC Under-18 Girls Sabre

There are a lot of regulars in the above list, but a number of newcomers, which bodes well for the future. It is particularly nice to see a number of fencers from the Isle of Man in the list.


The previous constitution was aimed at providing fencing within the region, and as a secondary objective promoting and developing fencing. Given the number of competitions available to fencers, both regionally and nationally, and the current availability of grants aimed at development this is the wrong way around.

An EGM was held in February at which a revised constitution was passed. I am not going to claim that this will be the final version, I am sure that it can still be improved. However it is very much better than the previous version and is very much aimed at developing and widening the sport in the region.


Last year we started a number of sub-committee's aimed at specific tasks. We have had mixed fortunes with these.

Coach Development Sub-committee

This committee had a development plan in place, but this was invalidated by the change in the BFA coaching syllabus. Not to be discomfited they have started to put in place training for the new level 1 (County coach) syllabus. Seven sessions have been held so far, with the number of candidate coaches being in double figures for each session. Thanks must go to Liz Chinn for organising the premises for each session and to the three coach mentors for running the sessions.

The critical part of the training will come when the candidates are assessed. An initial review is to be undertaken by Laszlo Jakab in May.

In addition to this we are still finding that there is a need for low level helpers at clubs and we are considering running a club leader's course in the Summer.

I would like to congratulate Robert Kiss in getting his diploma, this give him the same qualification as Laszlo Jakab and Bela Kopetka.

Referee Development Sub-committee

To be blunt, this has not been succesful. Some initial seminars were run and we did get a number of people taking exams, but with the withdrawal of Mark Thompson the sub-committee has become moribund.

The decision as to whether to resurrect it as currently moot. Mike Thornton has been running seminars and examination sessions at events in Blackpool and at the Merseyside (for which the region owes him thanks). This may be sufficient to generate referees for the region. Any input on this would be appreciated.

More Fencing, More Places

This was one of the themes from my report of last year. I am pleased to say it is starting to happen, albeit in small pockets. I would particularly like to single out Robert Kiss and David Varey. Both of these two coaches have done much to expand fencing in their areas.

David has been doing this for some years, and his efforts are now starting to show pay back in terms of the results that he is getting.

Robert's efforts are more recent, but the number of children he has involved in the sport in the Bury area is tremendous.

I know these two are professional coaches, but it does show what can be done. If you are looking to increase your club membership, then try running taster sessions in conjunction with your local sports development officer, they can be instrumental in getting buy in from local schools.

Regional Development Officer

One of the things that should help us in pursuing our aims is the presence of a BFA funded regional development officer. Natalie Kiss was appointed to the post last October and has helped a number of clubs to apply for "Awards for All" grants.

She has since been busy looking at establishing school clubs around the Bury area and for determining a good location for the establishment of a fencing centre in the North-West.

I would hope that in the future she can work with both the regional committee and its sub-committees to further our aims and to liaise with local governmental and other organisations.


All that we have been doing is consonant with what is happening in sport generally. While Kate Hoey was minister there was a move to centralise everything, with governing bodies receiving funding. Now that Richard Caborne is in place regionalisation is the keyword. Sports England will be dismantled later this year and funding will increasingly come from regional sources.

This could give us access to additional funding, providing we play by the rules. The region will work with sports development officers at a regional level. The emphasis here has got to be good communication and strong partnerships.

At this level we need to show that we are working together. Sport England is very good at picking up evidence of stresses and infighting within a sport. This obviously is reflected in their willingness to work with a sport.

At the club level you need to engage with your own local sports development officers. To quote a sports development officer who came on the coaching course I ran "If you offer free or low cost taster sessions we will bite your hand off!". They will take your whole arm if you target particular groups, such as ethnic minorities, women or deprived neighbourhoods. I know that some clubs are fairly small, use this kind of session to increase your membership and hence your viability. We do this at Tameside and have generated enormous interests.

One of the other things you need to do is to publicise your results. This is one of the other criteria that Sport England use in looking at grant applications. If you don't have a publicity officer on your committee, then consider appointing one. If you have a significant result (like Jon Willis coming 32nd at the Worlds) then let the regional know, we might be able to apply more pressure to the bigger publications.

In Conclusion

I hope that we are doing the right things at the regional level:

  • We are producing more coaches. This in turn means that we can train more people. We are starting to increase the level of coaching, which should mean that the quality of fencing in the region goes up.
  • We are actively looking at what we can do for youth development. We want to get more youngsters involved, and keep them involved.
  • We are looking at what can be done for fencer development, at all three weapons. The aim here is again, to increase the quality of fencing within the region.

Hopefully if we have got things right then in future years we will be able to get ourselves back in the 1st Division of the Winton and stay there!

Finally, we need to know if you think we are doing things right. The old paper-based distribution list has gone, it has been replaced with an email based list. This allows two-way communication. If you have an issue that someone else in the region can help with, then mail the list. If you want the regional committee to take up something on your behalf then mail the committee members. Please take time to look at the Web page, and don't be afraid to submit material. It is your showcase, please use it.

Secretary's Report

Having moved the Centre of Excellence to Broadoak High School in Bury, as premises there were free of charge, Robert & Natalia Kiss decided they were going to take over this NW venture. As we were unwilling to separate the fencers from their coach no action was taken but British Fencing were informed. However, on the plus side, there is a lot of new fencing activity taking place in the Bury/Bolton area of the region particularly at school level, which has been brought about by the hard work of Robert & Natalia. This is generating so much work that it is proposed to bring another coach from Hungary to help out.

Robert Kiss & Steve Glaister are currently developing what was the C of E into a 'North West Squad Club' and two new electric boxes have been purchased and a fencer incentive scheme introduced.

A proposed Cadet International (6 Weapon) is planned to occur in the Bolton Arena in September. I understand that negotiations for this with local authorities and Sport England are already well advanced, and I await more news on this.

The disposal of the monies from the grant from Awards for All for £5000 will be discussed in other reports & I have no wish to go over the ground. However, what I do see as our most important role is the providing for education of and qualifications for our home-grown coaches and referees. The money has been useful (along with the Torch Trophy Trust Fund) in promoting this.

Treasurer's Report

As the Region's constitution now prescribes a financial year end of 31 July, there are no accounts to be presented to the AGM this year. The accounts covering the 15 month period from 1 April 2002 to 31 July 2003 will be presented at next year's AGM.

Briefly, the Region is solvent, and has adequate reserves to meet any foreseeable contingencies. For the next year, the Region's anticipated income from all sources is sufficient to cover all anticipated expenditure.

Any Other Business

There was no other business. The date of the next committee meeting was not decided.

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