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Thursday, 13 July 2006 09:57

2006 AGM Minutes

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Minutes of the Annual General Meeting held 4th June 2006


Graham Kemp (Morecambe), Colin Walls (Manchester), Andy Thornton (Liverpool), Liz Chinn (Preston) Gill Prideaux (Trafford) Linda Kent (North West Squad Club), Dave Varey (Bolton)


Penny Tyson, Mike Ray, Mavis Thornton, Nick Murphy, Adam Souness

Matters Arising

It was noted that West Lancs hosted the 2005 Regional Championships, and not East Lancs as stated. Liz Chinn suggested that the names of the officers should be put beside their roles within the minutes. The minutes were then passed as a true record of the last meeting.


There was no correspondence.

Chairman – Graham Kemp

The chairman noted the results in the region. Notable among these were James Thornton's gold and Chris Kent's Bronze in the Junior Commonwealth in Chennai. The efforts of the Cadet Winton team were pleasing, as several of the top cadets were missing from the squad. The Chairman thanked Thomas Mottershead for his work with the squad, especially his support and encouragement. The Chairman thanked all officers of the committee for their hard work throughout the year.

Secretary – Linda Kent

As I decided to stand down as Secretary of the NW Region, this report is more in the way of an overview of the last 6 years. Peter Lloyd asked me to become Secretary after the hardworking and experienced former Secretary, Gill Prideaux had had to stand down through ill-health. So, I agreed to step into the breech.

As a competitive fencer, and the wife and mother of a competitive fencers the competition is the thing that excites me. I saw my role very much in terms of being available to people in the competitive arena, offering support and information. I also felt that I had the understanding of how hard it can be to be a competitor – and this is something that you can forget when you stop competing, or don't know about if you are a parent of a competitor.

However, when I began work with the committee it became apparent that there were several issues that needed attention. The first of these was the financial position of the NW region. There were several bank accounts which led to financial confusion. This was ably dealt with by Duncan Rowlands who organised these into one central account. My role was to apply for grants to ensure the finances of the region. Grants were given by the Torch Trophy trust and Awards for All.

The second issue was the enormous amount of work involved in getting paper information out to the clubs. We also had no photocopier, and the mail system was expensive to run. With the advent of IT and the internet Colin Walls (mostly) and myself set up the website, and I feel this remains a credit to the region. It allows ANY fencer to access information, and not just have it filtered through eventually on a club night.

The third issue was the acrimonious disputes within the fencing community on the Isle of Man. This was finally dealt with by myself and Penny Spink of British Fencing, but not without tough words being spoken. All is still not entirely amicable within the Isle of Man Fencing Community, but progress is being made with the committee of the IOMFA working very hard.

So what has happened this year? Well the Junior Commonwealth results were top notch for starters. Congratulations to James Thornton and Chris Kent - both are a credit to their region. The regionals went well, and so did the other competitions run in the region. These include Merseyside Open, the Bay Open, the Cadet International, the One Hit Epée. Also to be included are all the Junior Competitions within the region, and Mavis and Mike Thornton's sterling work organising the BYC competitions. I think everyone in the region will agree that all these were extremely well run by the various organising committees, and certainly compare most favourably to certain National Competitions. My thanks to all involved in running these competitions.

Rick (my husband) and myself went over to run the first NWJS Foil competition on the Isle of Man, which will hopefully now happen every year. This enables the young fencers on the Isle of Man to attend their first competition without having to pay to go to the mainland for it. The event was a great success with even the mayor attending!

So now all that remains is to wish my successor and the new committee well. It is time for new blood and new ideas, and I will always be available for information etc. I would also like to offer to run the Regional competition in 2007, so giving the new secretary a chance to bed down in the role.

Treasurer – Duncan Rowlands

There was no report from the treasurer. As the treasurer intends to stand down at the accounts year end, the chairman is to ask the treasurer to mentor any new candidate for the post.

Competition Organiser – None at Present

It was noted that there is no competition organiser – but it was recognised that a proper calendar for Junior Fencing needs to be organised and published well in advance.

Team Manager – Duncan Rowlands

There was no report from the Team Manager

Coaching Committee

Dave Varey has offered to take over the chair of the coaching committee. Club leaders qualifications may be making a come back, though it was recognised that there were problems with the syllabus. Continuous assessment is being considered rather than an examination. A general discussion of coaching matters took place.

Regional Development

  1. There is a desperate need for first level coaches – hence a revamped coaching sub-committee
  2. Chairman intends to promote interaction between the social clubs, increasing inter-club competitions. Clubs are also to have a role in advising the committee.
  3. A social event was suggested to allow different club members to come together to share expertise and knowledge.
  4. Acknowledgement was made of the Clubmark Scheme, and it was recognised that British Fencing was also involved with this.
  5. Child protection – Gill Prideaux has to be formally interviewed for this post. She is currently looking into providing training in equity and disability issues.

Election of Officers

Graham Kemp, nominated by C. Walls, seconded by D. Varey
Nicolas Murphy, nominated by G. Kemp, seconded by G. Prideaux
to be decided in July at the Year end for the accounts
Committee members
D. Varey, A. Thornton, C. Walls, G. Prideaux, L. Chinn

Any Other Business

  1. C. Walls is happy to continue running the website. However, he would like to see more contributions from both the committee and other NW region members.
  2. Suggested that information re funding is shared on the website
  3. List of clubs to be updated by Secretary as the British Fencing website is very out of date
  4. The contacts section on the website is empty – this to be rectified.
  5. LEAs to be contacted re fencing coaches and what to expect of them.

Next Meeting

was scheduled for 23rd July at the Scouthut at Adlington

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