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2004 AGM Minutes

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These are the minutes of the 2004 AGM held on the 25th April, 2004.

Attendance

Linda Kent (Salle Kiss), Duncan Rowlands (Stockport), Colin Walls (Manchester), Mavis Thornton (Arnold), Penny Tyson & Gillian Prideaux (Trafford), Graham Kemp(Morecambe YB), Yvonne Walls (Tameside Sabre), Louise Walls, Rick Kent (North West SquadClub).

Apologies

Beryl & Eddie Goodall, Liz Chinn, Les Jones

Minutes of Last AGM & Matters Arising

Child Protection Issues - G. Prideaux has found child protection course at a cost of £179.00 for up to 20 people. A booklet for each attendee costs £7.99 each. The prices were felt to be high and it was suggested that a grant could be obtained for this. It was also suggested that another region may like to join with us.

Action:

  1. C. Walls to contact A. Blight & P. Lloyd
  2. G. Prideaux to become child protection officer for the region.

Matters arising from dispute within the Isle of Man to be dealt with in Secretaries Report.

Minutes then passed as a true record of meeting of 26th April 2003.

Correspondence

Email received from Liz Chinn suggesting that

  1. AGM minutes to be published soon after AGM.
  2. Previous minutes to be kept on web site to allow "tracking of issues".

The committee thought this was a good idea & have decided to do it.

Chairman's Report (Colin Walls)

For the past few years I have been coaching four times a week, attending Regional and EFU meetings, going to competitions with pupils and to Cadet and Senior Winton tournaments. On top of this I have been trying to improve my own coaching and gain additional qualifications as well as trying to improve the number and quality of coaches in the region. This is, of course, while holding down a full time job and maintaining a family life.

The other members of the executive committee can tell of similar stories, in terms of being involved with the running of a new, prestigious competition in the Region while changing career or by gaining promotion and moving house while organising the Cadet and Senior Winton Regional squads.

While a lot has been done during the year, we are perhaps not as far on as we could have been. Rather than take a tabloid press, negative view of the last year I would like to look at the positive aspects.

Coaching Subcommittee

Sadly, Ian Manley has had to resign as chairman of the sub-committee. Like the rest of us he too has a personal life and felt that this and work commitments did not allow him to put sufficient effort into running the sub-committee.

His place is taken by Graham Kemp. Graham is a county coach of long standing who I am sure will use a sure hand in directing the sub-committee in developing the Level 1 (County) and Level 2(Regional) coaches that the Region needs.

The new, Hungarian syllabus means that coaches will have to be able to give a basic lesson in all three weapons (this does not mean that coaches cannot specialise in a single weapon). To this end the sub-committee has organised several sessions in the past year aimed at giving coaches some experience of all three weapons. These sessions were run by three of the Regional mentors and were a decided success.

However, they were run with minimal information on the new syllabus and perhaps an insufficient understanding of the exact pedagogy of the Hungarian methodology. One candidate has taken and passed the Level 1 examination based on these sessions. While the assessor was satisfied with the quality of the coaching, he did make the comment that the methodology was not being properly followed.

For this reason the sub-committee has temporarily suspended these sessions and has invited a British holder of the Hungarian diploma to come and discuss the differences between the British and Hungarian methods.

I should add that I have started my Level 2 training with Gabor Bognar and Peter Frohlich. I intend to complete the majority of the course with the Region's Level 2 assessor. From experience I can say that the British and Hungarian methods are quite different.

The sub-committee has been active at a lower level and has recognised that we need to get people on to the coaching ladder before they start on the Level 1 course. For this reason they have commissioned a Club Leaders course which will be run shortly.

If you have any requirements for coach development then please contact Graham Kemp directly.

Manchester International Cadet Tournament

The first ever 6-weapon cadet tournament held in this country took place at the Bolton Arena last year. It was an extremely impressive event with a range of commercial and local authority sponsors.

While one has to congratulate Steve Glaister and Natalia Gyuricska for the overall organisation of the event I think I would like to pick out one part of the tournament for particular mention.

The finals were run as a proper en gala event. This meant a separate venue with seating for 250 people (most of which was occupied), top quality FIE referees and a proper presentation ceremony. It is rare to see a final presented so well in this country.

I know that a CD of the event has been produced and circulated both nationally and internationally. I hope that this and the excellent reports of the tournament mean that it succeeds in its aims of becoming a top quality event on an International cadet circuit.

We had seven North West fencers in the finals, 1st Steve Glaister, won the Mens Foil with Ahmed Rosowsky 3rd. Hannah Burn was 5th in the Womens Foil. In the é tournaments Mark Howard was 8th in the Mens, Natalie Harrold was 7th in the womens and Jesicca Varey was 8th. In the mens sabre, Stuart Marshall was 3rd.

Regional Development

I am sorry to say that Natalia Gyuricska has lost her funding as Regional Development Officer. She has done an enormous amount for fencing in the Region in terms of getting more people fencing, organising the Bolton tournament and advising on applying for grants. I hope that this will not decrease her efforts on behalf of the Region.

However, British Fencing has agreed to continue supporting the centre at Broad Oak School. While this has wrongly been seen as only offering coaching for foilists it has recently expanded its operation to offer more support for the other two weapons.

Epée coaching is now provided by Csaba Cun. He trained in Hungary under Professor Gabor Bognar, who is Course Director and Director of Coach Education for British Fencing.

I am providing sabre coaching. While I can't claim the same qualifications as Robert and Csaba I have been studying with Professor Bognar, Peter Frohlich and Laszlo Jakab and I hope I can provide some insight into modern sabre fencing.

National Meetings

As I said above I have attended a number of meetings at National level. Of these the most important concern the setting up of an English Fencing Union. The aim here is to for British Fencing to become the overall controlling body for fencing within the UK and to have separate home country unions. This would regularise the anomalous position where British Fencing and English Fencing were seen as synonymous by the other home countries. It also means that funding will be equalised.

The EFU will be electing a President this year. I understand that John Ramsay and John Crouch will be standing. If anyone in the region wishes to stand I have a draft nomination form of which I can let them have a copy.

The election papers will be sent out with the BFA AGM information. Can I urge people to vote in the election and so validate the formation of the EFU.

I also have a copy of the constitution of the EFU. Hopefully this is now in its final state after a very long meeting in which we read it through clause by clause.

Honours

Honours this year must go to Jon Willis for his last 32 at Barcelona. This sent him to the top of the British Mens épée rankings.

Honours also go to Steve Glaister for his 39th place in the World Cadet Foil, and to Jayne Crook for her 54th place in the World Junior Épée

Results

At this point I normally have a long list of results that I have garnered from fencers, the British Fencing web pages and a variety of other sources. These results tend to be from Open and International competitions. Rather than do that this year I thought I would highlight particular results as it reflects the development and range of fencing in the Region.

Let us take the schools tournaments to start with. For these we have to thank the Jim Pratt and John Hunt of the Cheshire Schools Fencing Association, Mavis Thornton for the North West Junior Series and Graham Kemp for the Lancashire Schools tournament. These provide an introduction to competitions without the discouragement that stronger competitions might bring. These tournaments and the ranking scheme which is designed to get their name in print as early as possible encourage children in the sport. So, let us celebrate Adam Jones (Romiley), Kulos Kun (Salle Kiss), Natasha Hilliker (Salle Kiss) and Daniel Corcoran (Bolton), all of whom did well in this year's school competitions. This set of competitions must be good if Yorkshire are copying us! Can I urge all coaches to get their fencers to take part in these tournaments, after all this is how Jon Willis started his fencing career.

Following on from these are the Leon Paul events. This time an opportunity for young fencers to take part in a national level competition with their peers and, besides building up a national ranking and possibly winning prizes, engaging in the cameraderie that fencing brings. We have a long list of successes here:

Boys Under-9 Foil
5th Thomas Corlett, Isle of Man
Boys Under-11 Foil
5th Matthew Albers, Isle of Man
Boys Under-15 Foil
5th Alan Charles, Romiley
Boys Under-17 Foil
1st Adrian Speakman, Arnold
4th William Kemp, Stockport Youth
7th Liam Patterson, Fairfield
Girls Under-15 Foil
8th, Freya Hall, Arnold
Girls Under-17 Foil
4th Sam Heath, Fairfield
Boys Under-11 Épée
1st Patrick Jennings, Bolton
Boys Under-13 Épée
1st Paul Oldcroft, Bolton
6th Gregory Carty, Romiley
8th Nicholas Williams, Bolton
Boys Under-17 Épée
4th James Thornton, Arnold
5th= Andrew Hibberd, Arnold
5th= Matthew Severn, Morecambe
Girls Under-11 Épée
1st Helena Varey, Bolton
Girls Under-13 Épée
3rd Hannah Shackleton, Romiley
Girls Under-15 Épée
2nd Jessica Varey, Bolton
6th Freya Hall, Arnold
7th Hannah Burn, Romiley
Girls Under-17 Épée
2nd Megan Lomas, Tameside
Boys Under-11 Sabre
8th Tom Wellings, Romiley
Boys Under-13 Sabre
5th= Lee Corfield, Manchester
5th= Simon Barnes, Morecambe
Boys Under-15 Sabre
1st Stuart Marshall, Manchester
Girls Under-11 Sabre
2nd Francesca O'Neill, Tameside
4th Rebekah Mottershead, Romiley
Girls Under-15 Sabre
3rd Corrine Kemp, Morecambe

The only disappointing thing about the list is the limited range of clubs involved. Even if you don't particularly want to travel there is a LPJS event at each weapon in the region. I would urge fencers who have any ambition in the sport to get to at least the local LPJS tournament.

Once you have got through these then you can move on to the English and British Youth Championships. where we had Mark Howard as 3rd in the Under-16 boys épée, Stuart Marshall as 3rd in the Under-16 boys sabre, Lara Kerrison, 3rd in the Under-14 girls foil, Hannah Burn, 3rd in the Under-16 girls foil, Freya Hall, 3rd in the Under-16 girls épée, and Megan Lomas 2nd in the Under-16 girls épée. Four of these fencers went on to represent England in the Junior Quadrangular.

Somewhat harder are the British Youth Championships and the Cadet and Junior Championships. In the former we had

Foil
Sam Heath - 8th Under-18
Steve Glaister - 1st Under-18 Foil
Freya Hall - 5th Under-16
Tom Mottershead 5th Under-16
Rebecca Bartley 7th Under-14
Matthew Albers 8th Under-12
Mark Cudworth, 8th Under10
Épée
James Thornton 2nd Under-18
Megan Lomas 5th Under-18
Louise Highton 1st Under-16
Freya Hall 3rd Under-16
Hannah Shackleton 7th Under-14
Sabre
Stuart Marshall 2nd Under-16
Zoe Hibberd 5th Under-16
Rebecca Adamson 7th Under-14

While in the latter we had

Junior Foil
2nd Corin Beck, Mens
3rd Ahmed Rosowsky
Cadet Foil
1st Steve Glaister
7th Ahmed Rosowsky
Junior Épée
6th Jayne Crook
Cadet Épée
7th Freya Hall
8th Jessica Varey
Cadet Sabre
3rd Stuart Marshall

At this level our young fencers should also be fencing in Open tournaments. We have had some good results from a number of fencers. Jayne Crook was 28th in the Ipswich Cup, 3rd in the Milner-Barry, 3rd at Bristol and 15th at Leicester. Freya Hall won Wrexham Open, with Louise Highton placed second. Freya's 12th at Birmingham, just behind Megan Lomas' 11th place was an excellent result. Megan was in the medals at Merseyside, being placed 3rd. Steve Glaister was 9th at the British Championships, Corin Beck reached the last 16 in the Leon Paul cup, was 9th in the Welsh and 12th at Leicester. Stuart Marshall improved his 5th places at Shorpshire and Hereford and Worcester with a third place at Merseyside.

Beyond this of course are the internation events. I have already mentioned the World cadet and junior championships, but we have had 11 fencers in international events this year.

So, to all young fencers out there. If you want to make your mark then the competition is available. Work hard both at the tournaments and with your coach and you too can make the grade that the young fencers I have mentioned today have done.

To go to the other end of the spectrum. Fencing can remain a challenging sport throughtout your life. I would also like to mention some veterans result, with Linda Kent (Womens Épée) making a last 16 at Merseyside and Nottingham, Rick Kent (Mens Épée) being 3rd at York, Mavis Thornton (Womens Épée) reaching the last 8 at Wrexham and Yvonne Walls (Womens Sabre) reaching the last 8 at Merseyside and the last 16 at Leicester, Bristol and Hereford and Worcester, as Well as 3rd at the European Vets Championships.

Secretary's Report (Linda Kent)

My fencing year as secretary consists of training twice a week, going to competitions, and doing the administrative work for the BFNWR. The most important part of my role is talking to fencers and coaches, finding out what is going on in the region. There appears to be a Renaissance in fencing. Alan Clague from Liverpool reports that Liverpool FC regularly gets 50 + fencers. Robert Kiss has expanded his activities so much that he now has another professional coach working with him. David Varey and Nathan Barber are extremely busy working 6 day weeks. Ashton FC and Manchester FC are running successful beginner's classes, and I gather Arnold, West Lancs. and Morecambe are very busy. These are just the clubs I know about.

Much hard work goes on at this grass roots level and is rarely recognised - so I would now like to officially thank everyone who gives up their spare time to help in any capacity whatsoever.

North West Squad Club

The North West Squad Club (originally the NW Centre of Excellence) has received a grant from Awards for All to help with the expenses incurred in running the club. It now has two coaches, Robert Kiss and Csaba Kun. Csaba was asked to come over to help with the extra work generated by Natalia Gyuricska

Isle of Man

I received a copy of a complaint sent to British Fencing by a parent of a fencer on the Isle of Man. It concerned the inability of the young fencer to access money from the Isle of Man Sports Council as the club that she was a member of was not affiliated to the Isle of Man Fencing Association (IoMFA). However her club was affiliated to the British Fencing Association. In close negotiation with Penny Spink and Keith Smith I attempted to bring this matter to resolution. Eventually it was decided that any dispute should be settled by the Management Group of British Fencing and an ultimatum was issued to the IoMFA requesting that they make any complaints officially and in writing. The IoMFA eventually made an official complaint to the Management Group. This matter has been left in the hands of British Fencing. After speaking to Penny Spink at the Senior Winton I understand the matter is nearly resolved.

However, I would like to observe it is almost a year since the original complaint was made. I would in future hope that if complaints were to be made about any fencer, coach, club etc they were to be made straight away and in writing, and not left to fester to the detriment of fencing in the region. These sort of problems are always destructive, and only serve to give fencing as a whole a bad name.

Cadet International

The Cadet International held at the magnificent Bolton Arena (and I think everyone who attended was most impressed with the venue) was a great success. Talking with Keith Smith, he said that the Arena was one of the venues that British Fencing was considering using for various competitions. I understand however, that the Arenas' first responsibility is to tennis in the region.

The competition ran very smoothly and Steve Glaister & Natalia Gyuricska managed to raise over £2000 in sponsorship. They worked very hard to make the event run smoothly, and Bob Jamieson and his team provided a magnificent stall and electric equipment. I can only hope that it is such a splendid success again this year. The event reflects well upon the region, especially in the turn out by parents, committee members, and fencers. My thanks to Steve and Natalia for making this work.

Cadet Winton

Unfortunately I was unable to attend the Cadet Winton this year due to illness; therefore my thanks go to Yvonne Walls for stepping in. I was very disappointed as I enjoy attending the Cadet Winton, an exhausting but most enjoyable weekend. Yvonne conveyed to me how well the fencers performed, how hard they worked, and how well they behaved themselves. Well done!

Treasurer's Report (Duncan Rowlands)

Copies of the detailed accounts have been circulated. These cover the 15 month period from 1 April 2002 to 31 July 2003.

These accounts have been prepared on a receipts basis. I have a few important points to raise in respect of these accounts:

  • They do not include details of the activities of the Coaches sub-committee. This is because the CSC have not presented me with any invoices for expenses, nor receipts for any moneys received, for the period in question. This is despite having been requested to do so. As I have been unable to establish and verify the transactions entered into by the CSC, no such details are included in the accounts.
  • The accounts have not been audited. This is due to a couple of reasons,
    1. In view of the incomplete nature of the accounts as detailed above, I do not consider that the accounts suitable for audit at present, and
    2. No auditor was appointed at the last AGM, as no nominations for this post were received.

The current position of the Region's finances is, briefly, that 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. (See accounts at end of minutes).

The issue of Sub-committees having their own bank accounts was brought forward at this point and the following statement has been issued on behalf of the committee:

Sub-committees may not have bank accounts. As the committee and executive of the region are the only bodies mandated by the region to incur expenditure/ defray expenses on behalf of the region the committee is responsible for all monies and accounts. This is made plain in the constitution.

Competition Organiser (Colin Walls)

Mavis Thornton pointed out that while entries for BYC Épée & Sabre are up in the region they are down for foil.

Youth Development

It was again noted that there are many youth competitions in the region, and Mavis Thornton's large contribution to making these happen was noted. Mavis pointed out that the NWJS needs a new rota. It was also noted that the cost of leisure centres was proving prohibitive to some clubs - and they are unable to run the NWJS at a loss. An offer of the gym at Withington (if possible) was made by Yvonne Walls.

Team Manager's Report (Duncan Rowlands)

In both events, the teams were affected by a number of Region's top fencers being unavailable for a variety of reasons. The replacement fencers, however, stepped into the breech without hesitation and fought well. All fencers fought hard, and were worthy representatives of the Region. I would like to thank all the fencers for making themselves available, some at extremely short notice.

For the Cadet Winton I would also like to thank all the parents who taxi their offspring around the country all year to enable them to fence. In particular I would like to thank those people help with the logistics of the Cadet Winton and who gave up their weekend before Christmas to accompany the teams; Mike & Mavis Thornton, Colin & Yvonne Walls, and Linda Kent. Without the assistance of these people the Region simply could not have attended the Wintons.

After discussion of the above it was suggested that notification of possible Winton Cup places could be made earlier to aid selection. This to be done via the email service.

Election of Committee and Officials

Chairman
Colin Walls - Proposed by Steve Glaister; Seconded by Robert Kiss
Elected unanimously (7 votes for)
Treasurer
Duncan Rowlands -Proposed by Colin Walls; Seconded by Linda Kent
Elected unanimously (7 votes for)
Secretary
Linda Kent - Proposed by Christopher Kent; Seconded by Rick Kent
Elected unanimously (7 votes for)
Committee Members
Graham Kemp - Proposed by Linda Kent; Seconded by Rick Kent
(As chair of the coaching sub-committee Graham did not need to be elected)
Mavis Thornton - Co-opted onto the committee

The following nominations were received but not voted onto the committee

Les Jones - Proposed by Martin Roberts; Seconded by S. Lees
Not elected - unanimous decision (7 votes against)
Giselle Cullinane - Proposed by Martin Roberts; Seconded by S. Lees
Not elected - (1 vote for, 2 votes against, 4 abstentions)

Any Other Business

  1. It was decided that in future anybody wishing to propose or second an officer/committee member should attach their BFA number to the nomination form. This should be made plain on the form and a reminder attached that proposers and seconders must also be over 18.
  2. Coaching session (May 8th) to be run by David Kirby - arrangements for accommodation etc. to be confirmed.
  3. Posters to advertise our sport to be investigated. These (if suitable) to be offered to clubs to put their own venue/times on. It is hoped that if the region organises this that economies of scale will be achieved.

The date of the next committee meeting was proposed for 14th May 2004.

Income & Expenditure Account 1 April 2002 to 31 July 2003

       

Income

£

 

£

British Fencing Regions Rebate

£ 300.30

   

Youth Competition Entry Fees

£1,638.50

   

Senior Competition Entry Fees

£ 572.00

   

Cadet Winton Fees

£1,200.00

   

Senior Winton Fees

£ 540.00

   

Coaching Courses Fees

£ 45.00

   

Fencing Courses Fees

£ 300.00

   

Armourer Courses Fees

£ 20.00

   

Bank Interest

£ 8.97

   

Torch Trust Grant

£ 350.00

   

Awards For All Grant

£5,000.00

   

Total Income

   

£ 9,974.77

       

Expenditure

     

British Youth Entry Fees

£ 481.00

   

British Youth Referee Levy

£ 80.00

   

Youth Competition Hall Hire

£ -

   

Intermediate Foil Entry Fees

£ 104.00

   

Senior Competition Hall Hire

£ -

   

Competition Medals

£ 182.00

   

Competition Incidentals

£ 60.37

   

Senior Winton Entry Fee

£ 210.00

   

Senior Winton Accommodation

£ 580.50

   

Senior Winton Referee Expenses

£ 90.00

   

Cadet Winton Entry Fee

£ 85.00

   

Cadet Winton Accommodation

£ 936.00

   

Cadet Winton Mini-Bus Hire & Fuel Costs

£ 257.89

   

Regional Teams' clothing & colours

£1,000.00

   

Coaching Courses Hall Hire

£ -

   

Coaching Courses Coach Fees

£ 180.00

   

Fencing Courses Hall Hire

£ 170.00

   

Fencing Courses Coach Fees

£ 500.00

   

Armourer Courses Armourer Fees

£ 140.00

   

Referee Development expenses

£ 203.00

   

Sub Total

   

£ 5,259.76

Administration

     

AGM Hall Hire

£ 20.00

   

Stationery

£ -

   

Postage

£ 26.38

   

Photocopying

£ -

   

Web Site Registration

£ -

   

Charitable Donations

£ 50.00

   

Bank Charges

£ 4.00

   

Sub Total

   

£ 100.38

Total Expenditure

   

£ 5,360.14

NET SURPLUS / (DEFICIT)

    £ 4,614.63

Bank Deposits @ 31 July 2003

£7,604.92    

 

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