Committee Announcements

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Announcement on 18th Oct 2021

James Williamson steps down as Club Secretary

James has been a member for 10 years and Club Secretary for 8. When he started he was one of only two epeeists in the club! His persistence has helped build the epee presence we have today. He has also ably supported the Managing Committee booking meetings, issuing Agendas, taking minutes and the varied tasks that go with running a club that no one hears about, like dealing with insurance certification! When I was away travelling for weeks on end he felt the sharp end of dealing with the enquiries that come in every week. In these years James has been studying film and media reaching his PHD last year. He has now obtained his first teaching post but it is based in Winchester. As he has family in SW London it makes sense to move out in that direction. We know he is going to miss the club but he knows he has an open invitation to come along anytime and has threatened us with his presence at Christmas events!

Helen Jenkins steps down as Welfare Officer

Helen has been one of those people we rarely see but who has contributed masses to the club. Her experience in the NHS and as a school governor and school safeguarding officer, made her ideal to be our Welfare Officer when British Fencing mandated that all clubs should have one. It was necessary to complete the BF mandated training also which required weekend attendance and travelling. Her direct involvement with Covid, including manning vaccination stations in her spare time shows the commitment she has. Fortunately we had no major incidents for her to deal with but this is because Helen helped us develop the safeguarding standards and guidelines that help keep coaches from finding themselves in unsafe situations with regards to children and the possibility of misunderstandings arising, shall we say. Her daughter joined the club in 2013 and has now moved on to university, meaning she is no longer a club member and it is understandable that Helen has decided to reduce her commitment to the club. We thank her for her valuable contribution.

Tony Nickson to step down as Chairman at the next AGM

Tony joined the club in 2013, also 8 years ago.. as an Adult Trainee parent of two Musketeers when we ran a training course for parents in a quiet period. His experience in running local government volunteer groups and being chair of the Sevendroog Castle (on Shooters Hill) trust, made him ideal chairman material and he became our chairman in 2016. Unfortunately, just four weeks after election, Tony suffered a stroke which seriously impacted his mobility, but not his weapon arm! In time he made it back to the club for some chair based fencing and later managed some footwork exercises all of which has helped towards his recovery. He continued to act as chairman via email, attending MC meetings and has been a source of guidance, experience and encouragement throughout that time. His continued involvement has also helped Tony as he coped with the other consequences of this unfortunate incident.

During the Covid period he became Club Covid officer wading through all the guidelines and lengthy documents from British Fencing, which were constantly updated, attending their online meetings and helping devise the Risk Assessment document and procedures that eventually allowed us to reopen the club earlier this year. Tony is getting involved in other activities suited to his interests and circumstances and feels it is a good time to hand over to someone who is taking a more active role in the club and has a vision for its future. We sincerely thank Tony for his commitment, dedication and sheer will power in being our Chair and he has also promised us with his presence in the future, weapon in hand.

Looking ahead

Older Members will recall that I had also planned to step down from the MC a while back! I remained, in the new role of Deputy Chair, as Tony’s ‘eyes in the hall’ and still carry out some organisational functions around adult training and the Musketeers, in addition to coaching. And the website. This is still the case as I could be summoned off for my delayed hip replacement at anytime leading to an extended absence. So you can see why we need some people to step forward to fill these essential roles. The Club does not run itself!

Tony will be in post until the next AGM, usually around February, and my role as Deputy Chair will also end at that time. While we start scouting out for a new Chair, our main task right now is to recruit a Club Secretary. Henry has indicated he would be willing to move into that role if someone was interested in being Treasurer under his guidance. There could also be a separate role as a Membership Secretary, mainly dealing the queue of potential members and the email list while we still have a vacancy for Social Sec. Any appointments before the AGM will be subject to ratification at the AGM.

I will update the job descriptions shortly, which may help answer any questions about the roles, and let you know when they are ready.

All the best, Andrew Nisbet, Deputy Chair