AGM held 4th March 21 and reopening plans

Held on Zoom there were 11 attendees, 8 Managing Committee (MC) members and 3 ordinary members. This was sufficient to carry out formal business according to our Constitution.

The Chairman, Tony Nickson, outlined the activities that have been carried out by the Managing MC while the club has been closed which includes constant communication by email, Whatsapp, regularly attending British Fencing Community discussions and two Zoom MC meetings.

This effort has resulted in plans for indoor fencing in groups of 6, including sanitising, registration of attendees, and full Risk Assessments and expanding to full sessions as soon as permitted.

We have had no reply from the school whose cooperation would be needed.

Whilst we would prefer to re-start fencing at the school we need to be realistic that it might not be possible until September and we will continue to look for other, temporary, venues so that we can achieve our objective of restarting as soon as possible. These include a venue we have used before and another that we will investigate.

The Government Roadmap indicates that we might be able to start with some outdoor activities from 29th March dependent on weather and approval from local authorities. These might include exercises and games not needing fencing weapons.

The Roadmap indicates that full fencing might be able to restart from 17th May. It is envisaged that fencing will restart for existing Adult Members first. Depending on the space and times available this MAY BE accompanied by EITHER Adult Trainees OR Musketeers. A lot depends on the size of the venue, the times we can book and the Covid rules applicable at that time.

Either way, presuming the virus situation does not regress, we anticipate a full club for all categories of fencer to open in September at the school.

Our greatest concern regards the number of fencers who will return. Unfortunately, members will have moved away, got out of the exercise ‘habit’ and, in the case of junior members, changed school, gone to University or found other activities. We are working on the basis of launching as would a new club; starting small and taking on more space and sessions as required.

There is a continual stream of enquiries from people, both adults and juniors, wanting to start fencing and joining our email list, which is encouraging.

The Treasurer, Henry Fazakerley, reported on our finances which shows a healthy financial balance with minimal outgoings whilst we remain closed and more than enough to invest in a relaunch from a reduced level of membership if necessary.

The equipment, having been in store for so long, will need extensive refurbishment and cleaning before it can be used and will be recovered from the school as soon as practically possible so that a start can be made on that task.

All the ‘whites’ will need washing and assistance with this particular exercise will be appreciated.

In the meantime we ask all existing members to drop us an email via the Contact Page to show their readiness to return when we re-open as this greatly assists our planning to get back to the joys of fencing in a vibrant club once again.

We look forward to seeing you soon.