A New Start For SHFC at CDYST

After a short trial period the clubs Thursday session has changed venue and day.  Our new venue is Crosspool and District Youth Sport Trust’s gym on Coldwell Lane, Crosspool, Sheffield, S10 5TL.

This is an excellent venue set in four acres of grounds and having just been completely refurbished.  Visit their web site for a location map and photographs of the facilities.

The sessions at CDYST are held on Wednesday evenings between 7:00 and 8:30 PM but we are looking to extend this as numbers pick up.  It is hoped that the venue will be further developed in the near future to facilitate it’s use as a fencing venue.  Further news in due course.

Crosspool & District Youth Sport Trust Venue

This session replaces the Thursday sessions held at  High Storrs School.  Please note that Monday sessions continue at High Storrs.

Young Investgators

The club had a mystery shopper visit last week from Sheffield City Council’s Young Investigators, these are a group of young people drawn from across the city who give their views about sports they’ve done. They took part in a normal beginners class along with some other children at the club as part of their secret review of the club and it’s coaching.  Out of the blue we received feedback today from the children via Max Bellwood a Children’s Involvement Officer at Sheffield City Council’s Children’s Involvement Team Sheffield. The text of the email feedback is reproduced below:

‘I’m just popping you a YI (Young Investigators) report about Fencing at Silverdale in the post for you. It was fantastic and the kids loved it, 5/5 session – I also just wanted to pass on how great the guy was who delivered it.’

We are flattered by the comments and are very proud of the rating. We hope this should encourage any prospective fencers, of all ages, to come along and have a go at this great sport.  If this does inspire you please drop me an email to get the ball rolling, my up to date details are on the Contact page of this web site.

GO/FENCE Training Course Update

Just received feedback from the GO/FENCE instruction course I ran at Boston Spa a few weeks ago.

The school has run it’s first GO/FENCE holiday sessions in the half term.  After 2 days the 48 places for primary school children had all been taken!  They doubled the places to 96 by adding and extra day and these gone in 1 day!!  They now have a waiting list for the next event.  Their feedback from both children and parents has been very positive and they’ve been asked to run a community club on the back of this success.

Fantastic effort and well done to the 9 volunteers from the course who had the opportunity to take part.  All the best with your future GO/FENCE ventures.

The Fencing Shop – Kit Sale

I’ve just found out that The Fencing Shop is having a sale because they are changing suppliers and have put their remaining stock on sale.

The prices were good in the first place so these reduced price items are real bargains.  I particularly like the Enlighten jackets and breeches but the sale extends to fencing shoes, gloves and Foil lames.

There are a limited range of sizes for both adults and juniors so if you’re interested make haste the follow the link to The Fencing Shop before everything goes.

If you are in the market for fencing gear other than the sale items you might like to check out their other stock. You might be surprised at how reasonable the prices are.

British Fencing GO/FENCE Instructor

About 7 years ago I was invited to run a fencing club at a primary school in Wales, Rotherham.  They wanted children from years 3-6 (age 7 to 10 ish) to learn to fencing.  The objective was to improve fitness and co-ordination but also to give the children an experience which was outside their normal ‘ex-mining village’ world.  I’d have a helper, up to 20 children and an hour each week for the lesson.  I was really keen to help but realised that 1 hour would be a very short period in which to run the session for this age group.  I was aware of the GO/FENCE system (Midi-Fence as it was called then) and decided it was the ‘game changer’ needed to make this type of session practical.  The children would have just the same fun, learn the same skills but spend less time getting into the required safety gear.  The sessions were a great success and ran for many years until the club moved to Kiveton Park & Wales Village Hall where it became a fully fledged club using metal and plastic weapons depending on circumstances.

A couple of years ago British Fencing were aware of the success I’d been having with this new form of fencing with both children and adults.  They were designing a ‘soft form of the sport’ for role out into schools where trained volunteers would then deliver the sessions.  I was happy to be invited to give suggestions for inclusion in the training programme for these volunteers.  I was subsequently registered as a British Fencing GO/FENCE instructor authorised to deliver the training to the would be GO/FENCE coaches.  I was so happy because I’d found another way to spread the word about this great sport to more people and thereby increase the pool of potential competitive fencers in the next generation.

The requirement to deliver these training sessions was at first only a modest trickle but in the last couple of months demand has taken off and I’ve now trained over 40 GO/FENCE coaches.  Few of these people have ever fenced before but it has been very satisfying to see how much effort they have all put into gaining the necessary skills and being comfortable delivering sessions themselves.  The feedback to British Fencing has been excellent and I hope they all get the opportunity to run regular GO/FENCE courses/clubs in the coming years and further increase the numbers of fencers in their communities.

If you would like a school or cluster of schools or other organisation to be able to deliver GO/FENCE sessions in your community please put them in touch with British Fencing’s GO/FENCE Co-Ordinator Jack Boteler.