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Grass Roots to World Class Margaret Nolan – Head of Development Alex Newton – Performance Director. Grow Programme. Aims 2013 - 2017. Develop a skilled workforce who can create more opportunities for those who want to get started, get better and be the best

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Grass Roots to World Class

Margaret Nolan – Head of Development

Alex Newton – Performance Director


Aims 2013 - 2017

  • Develop a skilled workforce who can create more opportunities for those who want to get started, get better and be the best
  • Create more places where people can start and stay fencing
  • Provide high quality opportunities for fencers to achieve their full potential

Working with children and adults

Strength & Conditioning

Volunteers -v- Paid Staff

Analysing Technique

Making sessions fun

Accidents, emergencies & First Aid

Planning coaching sessions

Media and Marketing

Qualifications & Awards

Policies & Procedures

Practical & Theory Assessments

Personal Action Planning

Creating Partnerships



Technical & Tactical Sessions

Safeguarding & Protecting Children

Roles & Responsibilities

Continuous Professional Development


Pathway for Fencers...

...increasing participation and nurturing talent





Full time



Part/Full time









Increase Participation

(Sport England Community Sport)

Identify and Confirm Talent

(SE Excel – doesn’t exist)

Develop Talent

(SE Excel & TASS)

Improve / Deliver Performance

(UK Sport)

Talent Development

(National Delivery)


(National Delivery)

School, Club and Community

(Local Delivery)



  • £150m for 2 yrs
  • £10k per primary school
  • Sportivate funding for 14+
  • managed by CSPs
  • NGB Programme
    • partnership with clubs
    • fun activity programme
    • qualified leaders & coaches
    • includes mini competition
    • exit route to local fencing club

Colleges & Universities

  • 5m+ students educated and trained
  • 50,000+ students regularly volunteer in sport
  • 20+ sports offered per HE/FE
  • BCS and BUCS run robust competitions
  • CSP funding available
  • NGB Programmes
    • AASE
    • Pilot projects planned to increase participation


..a Journey, not a destination


Regional Hubs

Fencing Activity days


Support local Fencers

fully integrated system
Fully Integrated System

Specialised Coaching & Competition


Coaching & Competition

Schools, Colleges & Universities

Entry Level Coaching & Competition


Sport England Award Conditions 2013-2104:

  • develop and implement programmes that positively impact on participation in Y1 and are scalable in years 2-4
  • commence two pilot programmes before 01.07
  • review the pilots and provide a report by 30.09
  • conduct further review to demonstrate impact
  • prepare a 2014-2017 delivery plan

Projects to increase participation and improve retention….

Pilot 1: increase participation 14 – 18 year olds

Pilot 2: increase participation 18 – 21 year olds

Pilot 3: improve retention through novice/entry level competitions


Helping us to help you ….

  • Keep in touch through Regional Hubs and HQ staff
  • Share your stories, testimonials and statistics
  • Help us to create a better system that we can all benefit from
four levels to the wcp
Four Levels to the WCP
  • Podium – UK Sport
  • Podium Potential – UK Sport
  • Talent – Sport England / Home Countries
  • Talent Identification and Confirmation – Sport England / Home Countries


Initial Selection Criteria:



Test Results

Competition results

Personal Traits / Life Skills


National Talent Coach

National Coach input

National training

Training & competition programme

Key link with PP Programme

Olympic Podium


(A, B, C)

0 Athletes

UK Sport



(D, E, F)

12 Athletes

Initial Selection Criteria:

Olympic medal potential

WR top 50 individual

WR top 10 Team

Competition results

Tactical skillsTechnical skills

Physical ability

Mental aptitude


1 : 1 National Coach / Coach support

Centralised training





Kit and Equipment

Financial support – Programme

Financial support - APA

Initial Selection Criteria:



Test results

Life Skills

Confirmation Programme against talent indicators


National Talent Coach

Training & competition programme

National training

Link with Talent Programme

Initial Selection Criteria:

Tactical skillsTechnical skills

Physical ability

Mental aptitude

Rate of progression

Competition results

Personal circumstances


1 : 1 National Coach / Coach support

Residential national training

Training & competition programme

Financial support – Programme

Financial support - APA

World Class Talent Programme

Sport England

National Talent Identification and Confirmation Programme

2020 Olympics

Centralised Programme

Semi Centralised

Olympic Programme

WCP Directed

Performance Foundations

WCP Influenced

context of uks funding
Context of UKS Funding
  • ‘No Compromise’ Approach
  • Investment principle 5 - Funding is a privilege not a right
  • UK Sport do NOT distribute funding ‘equally’ - they unashamedly target sports / athletes capable of winning Olympic medals
  • They reinforce excellence - sports with a track record and who performed in London saw big increases
  • They challenge under performance and reject mediocrity – those failing to achieve are under intense scrutiny and receive only one year awards
  • A strategy designed to reinforce the best, support the developing and provoke change in the underperforming
british fencing project rio
British Fencing –Project Rio
  • Funding application was the culmination of 12 months work between BF Performance Team and UKS
  • Part of the application was the submission of athletes and weapons for support
  • RAG rated by the Project Rio Investment Panel
  • Decisions on how many places to offer was based on the assessment of the overall business case, athletes / weapons and track record to date
uks award
UKS Award
  • Only one year of support guaranteed
  • No Podium athlete places provided (Podium = will medal at 2016)
  • Only 12 Podium Potential places (Podium Potential = will qualify in 2016 and medal in 2020)
  • Tasked by UKS to continue the progress made with the step change in approach to performance and build a sustainable performance programme
  • Required to implement a new coaching structure, elite centralised training centre, raise standards for selection to international competitions, deliver results
year one objectives
Year One Objectives
  • Key is to try and convince UKS through objective performance based evidence, we can win a medal in 2016
  • Unlock Podium places and further Podium Potential places (116 available)
  • Steer from UKS to initially focus on one or a small number of weapons and deliver success
  • Operate a pseudo Podium Programme with some Podium Potential places
  • Identify athletes who are ‘real’ Podium Potential
  • Start a talent identification and confirmation programme across all six weapons
podium potential programme
Podium Potential Programme
  • Funding focussed on a limited number of weapons
    • Squad of 10 Men’s Foil / 1 x WE / 1 x WF
  • Athletes will be in competition for the available spaces on the programme as restricted by funding and resources
  • This mean some supported athletes in a squad may be developing and not at the same current performance standard as those in other weapons not supported
  • Admission to the WCP is not guaranteed on reaching the minimum entry criteria but also on:
    • There is a place available
    • The weapon is identified as being targeted in Year One
    • Fencer assessed in regards to likely medal potential at Olympic level in 2016 (fast track in year one)
    • Fencer assessed as having the potential to win a medal in 2020
    • Those joining the Programme aspire to win medals and not simply to be on the WCP
    • Signed up to the level of commitment required at that stage
    • Signed Athlete Agreement
non funded senior programmes
Non-Funded Senior Programmes
  • Introduction of voluntary Weapon Managers to work with the WCP to provide support to those non-funded weapons
  • Works closely with WCP to further the performances of non WCP funded squads and athletes
  • Responsible for putting together a programme of activity that aligns with the WCP at senior level
  • Responsible for making and maintaining contact with athletes eligible for selection for international squads
  • Provide help and support at competitions
talent identification confirmation and talent programmes
Talent Identification & Confirmation and Talent Programmes
  • Supported by with limited funding by UKS and SE through their Excel funding
  • Only one year funding at standstill level from SE
  • Head of Pathway Development now recruited
  • Key tasks in Year One:
    • clearly articulate the vision for fencing and submit a revised funding application to SE for years 2-4
    • introduction of talent assessment days across all six weapons
    • put in place a squad based system to support identified talented athletes
beyond year one
Beyond Year One
  • By the end of Year one we need to have demonstrated to UKS and SE that we can build and run a sustainable performance programme and meet KPIs and milestones
  • We would hope that we can ‘unlock’ podium places or at least receive more podium potential places
  • Have a WC talent programme operating across all six weapons providing a pipeline of athletes for PP places
  • Have submitted a strategy to SE for enhanced support for talent programmes
  • We will amend the entry criteria and selection process in line with podium potential aspirations – qualify in 2016 and medal 2020