Thank you to everyone who took some time to complete the survey that we posted last week to understand your thoughts about returning to fencing. I wanted to give you an overview of everyone’s opinion because this informs the way that the club will begin to operate again. We’ve been working on a risk assessment for club sessions, and will be sharing it with the school this week to make sure that we’re all happy. I will also make a post here with that once we’ve finalised a couple of small details.
What people are planning or hoping to do
The majority (78%) of you are planning to return to training as soon as you can, or will wait until the social distancing rules are relaxed a little further.
In addition, 87% of you would like to return at a similar level of commitment/frequency, with a small number feeling that other commitments would mean they could come less-often.
Fears or concerns about returning to club
Many of the respondents to the survey expressed concern about catching COVID-19 from club kit, or lack of proper social distancing. There were also concern regarding whether it would be safe to resume fencing, and how we would manage club sessions (warm-up, fighting, lessons) and the extra requirements that the new rules will call for.
The vast majority of respondents to this survey stated that they had their own kit, which makes managing the club kit somewhat easier than it could have been. We have a plan to allocate club equipment to members who don’t have their own and will detail how this will work later. We’ve also been thinking about how to handle the electric boxes and weapons and have a strategy for this too. I will publish this once the risk assessment is agreed with the school.
Face masks have been mentioned as a way to reduce the spread of the virus, but there has also been evidence published in the July 2020 edition of The Sword (page 26) which suggests that they are risky to wear during fights because they prevent efficient breathing. The club is going to ask you to wear masks where possible, and we will be issuing guidance on this soon. The majority of respondents were willing to provide a mask themselves, so this will be the option that we will choose.
What we hope to offer
There are many aspects to a regular club session, and unsurprisingly, there was a lot of variation in what you’d all like to see. From the responses, we will aim to provide warm-up and footwork exercises, fighting/sparring on the electric equipment, and lessons in some form. These may all need to be modified to take account of the new rules, and we will be able to tell you more about this soon.
What you’re looking forward to
Everyone’s looking forward to getting back to fencing again, meeting our friends and doing some training. Like you, I can’t wait to be back in the fencing hall doing some sparring and footwork practice.