Club Update

An update about the club and what we’re up to at the moment.

Online Meetings

We’ve had some fun social hangouts on Houseparty over the past few weeks. These are announced on the club Facebook page, and have been held on Friday evenings at about the time that we’d be in the club. Please come along to the next one!

Sessions

As you’ll have seen in the news, the government is keen for schools to return in the next couple of weeks after half-term. Rye St. Antony have indicated to me that they would be willing for us to use the hall in June. HOWEVER, British Fencing’s guidance (https://www.britishfencing.com/covid-19-update-may-18/) and our committee are clear that we can’t go back to fencing yet because it will be difficult or impossible to maintain social distancing measures whilst in a fencing bout. 

Once the guidance from BF changes, which will be based on events in the country as a whole, we will be able to think about restarting sessions. We’ll also need some new procedures and probably new risk assessments to satisfy the new rules that will likely be in place. If you’d like to lend a hand with these (or have some experience in these matters), please get in touch!

Memberships

I’m aware that many of you have been continuing to pay monthly membership fees, or have an annual membership that’s still running. Thank you for your continued support. Because the club has essentially no outgoings when we are not running sessions, it is our intention to credit everyone who’s remained a member during lockdown with membership extensions once we are at the other side. If you’d prefer to cancel recurring payments, you can do so by logging in to the admin site (https://oxfordfencing.tidyhq.com) and turning off Auto Renew on the “Memberships” tab of “TidyHQ Account Settings”. You should also receive an email before the payments are taken telling you how to do this. 

AGM Postponed

The club usually holds its AGM in June. This year, since such a meeting is essentially impossible to hold, we will instead hold an Extraordinary General Meeting when we return to Rye. We will announce this two weeks beforehand, in line with the club constitution. On this subject Anne, our treasurer, has announced her intention to stand down at the next AGM/EGM, and we will require someone to assist with managing our accounts from then. This is not a particularly onerous task since almost everyone pays their fees by credit card, so the bulk of the work is paying invoices for lettings and coaching via online banking. Anne or I would be delighted to explain the work in more detail, which would also suit a parent of one of our junior members. 

Coronavirus Update

CLUB SESSIONS CANCELLED UNTIL FURTHER NOTICE

17 March 2020

Because of new government guidance designed to reduce the spread of the current coronavirus pandemic, the school has cancelled all lettings for clubs. This means that there will be no club sessions until the regulations are eased. We haven’t been given any indication of when that will be.

My apologies to everyone who wants to fence,
Tim Stephens
Chair, Oxford Fencing Club

Coronavirus Update

I’m aware that many people are concerned about the impact of the coronavirus outbreak that is currently happening. Here’s what the club’s position is as I write.

We’re following Public Health England guidance, so until that changes we’re planning to go ahead with the sessions as normal (which includes the beginners course that is planned to start on 20th March). As far as measures to minimise the risks from the coronavirus outbreak, we have:

  • Wet wipes to clean out the club masks before use. Once a mask is issued to course participants, it’s theirs for the duration of the course; no-one else will be using it and all kit is stored in a numbered bag so you can find it easily each session. We will make some of the spare beginners bags available to regular club members who don’t have their own masks so that they can keep their chosen mask separate and reduce the risk of transmission.
  • Hand-washing is available in the toilets and in the “kitchen” area adjacent to the sports hall entrance. Please make sure that you wash your hands on arrival and departure.
  • One of the traditions in the rules of Fencing is that competitors shake hands after a bout. British Fencing have suspended this rule and advise that fencers avoid handshakes — we have implemented this in the club.
  • We have a relatively large space in the hall, so please try to make the most of this to help everyone stay a reasonable distance apart.

If the government guidance changes (e.g. regarding gatherings of people, or school closings), the school have told me that they will cancel our bookings and the club will not be able to run. If this happens, we will post updates by email, on the club website and on Facebook. Please check before you head out.

Finally, Mark is keeping tally of who’ll be at a particular session using the Facebook group, so if you’re planning to come please let us know there so that we can be confident that there are some others to fence.
Tim Stephens
Chair, Oxford Fencing Club

Epee Course – 6th March

By popular demand, we’re holding an introductory Epee course starting on 6th March for 4 weeks. This should be enough to get a regular foilist or sabreur up to speed with the differences between their usual weapon and the epee. Malcolm will lead the course, and tickets are available here.

Christmas 2019

Friday Sessions

There will be no fencing on Friday 13th December because Rye has an event which will require the use of the hall. Instead, we’re going to meet at the Jam Factory in the city centre for a bit of festive cheer. All over 18s welcome (including parents/guardians of our junior members).

Friday sessions will restart on 10th January 2020.

Tuesday Sessions

Tuesday sessions will run as normal until Tuesday 17th December.

We will restart Tuesday sessions on 7th January 2020.

Master At Arms 2019

Congratulations to Justen, who is our Master at Arms this year. Justen finished second in both our Sabre and Foil competitions. These excellent results mean that he wins the handsome Ralph Evans trophy as our most successful member in the club competitions.

Justen with the Ralph Evans trophy

Junior Master at Arms

This year, for the first time in many, we have run junior Sabre and Epee competitions in addition to the regular Foil competition. This means that we have been able to award a Junior Master at Arms. This year, Xavier won the crown for his second place in both the Foil and Epee competitions. Well done Xavi!

Summer Fencing at Radley College

As in previous years, our summer training sessions will move to Radley College sports centre from Tuesday 2nd July. Please note that there will only be Tuesday sessions from 8pm to 10pm, no Fridays. The final session at Radley will be Tuesday 20th August, and we return to regular Tuesday and Friday sessions at Rye St. Antony in Headington from Tuesday 27th August.

If you don’t own your own kit, please arrange with a committee member to take away a jacket, mask and plastron for the summer before Friday 28th June since we will only take electric boxes to Radley. See below for directions.

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AGM 2019

Chairman’s Report

Once again our club remains strong and stable. Our membership is currently 73, and we have welcomed 17 new members to the club this year. We introduced 28 new beginners to the sport on the two courses that we ran, and also introduced 10 to epee and 12 to sabre.

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BYC Results 2019

Congratulations to Darcy who won Silver in the U14 girls Epee, in addition to 10th in sabre, and 17th in foil. An excellent result, and an achievement to be very proud of.

Congratulations to Jay who won Bronze in the U18 boys foil. This is a brilliant achievement and shows that Jay will be a force to be reckoned with on the senior circuit in the coming years.

Well done also to Noe, who finished 9th in U18 boys Epee, Luke who finished 32nd in the U12 boys Foil, and Eunmin who finished 26th in the U18 girls Epee.