Before the team competition coach Jon Salfield managed to put on yet another cap and act as videographer so the team, with spokesperson Jenna Bray, could say thank you to you, the donors and supporters, before getting down to preparing for their first match.
After the competition, in which the team confirmed that they belong in the top 16 in the World, we managed to briefly catch up with Caiti Maxwell and Sophia Potter.
And we also managed to catch up with the youngest member of the team, Amy Westwell, fresh from the Junior European Championships and on her debut as a senior, who stepped in, along with Jenna Bray to cover for the injured Alex Davis and the Covid hit Maria Chart.
You’ll see they had a small but vocal support contingent throughout the day with Bea Abram-Moore and Alex Davis and company cheering on the team.
Please donate generously so we can continue to support both the Men’s and Women’s teams and make it a slightly less costly privilege for these hardworking and dedicated athletes.
We’ve updated the unofficial rankings which are intended to more or less mirror those done by British Fencing. These now include the results of the Cadet Men’s European Championships. The link takes you to our website with a link to the rankings themselves. If you want to skip that step, click here
We note that BF changed the multiplier for Bucharest from 600 in the ‘smart’ calendar to 1000 in the rankings but have assumed the Europeans stay at the 1000 as per that calendar.
You might notice a few more fencers have their club correctly against their name as club admins get busy registering their clubs and their associated fencers. Thank you to them for helping make these rankings as meaningful, useful and hence enjoyable as possible.
If you are a club admin, or know one, here are the very simple instructions to get you started.
The team for this competition consists of Maria Chart, Alexandra Davis, Caitlin Maxwell and Sophia Potter. Three of them, were hard at training when we turned up at the Leon Paul Centre which is the base for the Leon Paul Project where most of the seniors train together at their own expense.
Alex Davis in a moment of relaxation having traveled many many miles from her full time job for an evening’s training at the centre.
Maria and Caiti warm up and have a laugh before getting down to some serious sparring in what was a grueling 2 hour session.
Maria has a full time job and a very understanding employer who lets her take time off to attend World Cups though obviously she has to pay all the costs to get there as do all the others.
Jon Salfield will be going as unofficial but very supportive coach once again. The fencers split his costs between them for the individual event but he doesn’t take payment for the team event, which he does on a purely voluntary basis!
Jon also does all the organisation including hotel bookings and working out which flights to take, arranging transport and so on without any support or recognition.
So the only people who benefit are us as we can enjoy being inspired by them and, of course the team as they don’t have to pay quite so much for the privilege of representing GB as a team (rather than individual).
The team representing the hopes and aspirations of young GB women this time is:
The team achieved a 13th place in Tbilisi, picking up a valuable 21 ranking points and a further 8 points from a 17th place finish in Plovdiv.
The team composition changes depending firstly on the selectors and then on whether the fencers can actually afford the time off or the overall expense of staying an extra day or even two at the competition even though they want to represent their country but get very little out of it personally.
Team in Tbilisi
Team in Plovdiv
So let’s give them our support and thank you once again if you have already supported. It’s really encouraging. We will be hearing from the team. There are more details of funding and links for you to follow on the Funding page
Please please donate to support your senior sabre teams
The sad fact is that both Men’s and Women’s teams are currently unfunded when it comes to entering teams in Senior World Cups (don’t be fooled by the Lottery badge in the photo – the kit is old as is the funding).
The team entry fees (Euro 400 per team) are not covered. Coaching costs are not covered. The required extra night’s stay in a hotel is not covered. No coach is provided by BF. No team manager is provided by BF. This leaves the senior team fencers effectively on their own apart from limited administrative support.
There is support from outside BF but this is very much on a volunteer basis. These young fencers (the average age of the top 6 active women sabreurs is 21.2 years and for the men that figure is 21.7) are effectively paying for the privilege to represent their country not as individuals but as a team on the world stage. They already pay as individuals but the team is not for individual glory.
Why don’t you know about this? In the past certain unnamed individuals have covered the costs of at least the team entry fees but they value their privacy. Training costs in years when there has been no funding have also been covered by private donations but these have unfortunately not been publicised so you probably have not been aware there is a problem.
At times there has been funding but at the moment there is nothing to cover training costs, travel costs or anything for your top fencers. Despite these constraints many of them are training hard and as much as possible but they are paying for it.
There is limited funding for championships from BF, drawing on funds from UK Sport – the Worlds, the Euros and the Student Games as we understand it. Whether the limited scope is imposed by UK Sport is currently unclear.
But what chance will the teams have if they have a low seeding due to not competing or due to not fielding the best team possible at the World Cups throughout the season?
Why didn’t we ask earlier? The simple answer is that we were seeking information from BF to make sure that we were not asking you for something that was already being funded by or via British Fencing.
So please help them and donate quite specifically to support the senior teams who are in fact very young.
So please help inspire future generations of fencers by supporting this generation and follow their progress via The Sabre Club.
At the moment the Women are ranked 21 (18 at end 2021) and the Men 17 (16 at end 2021)in the World. They have already missed out on a number of competitions and the men’s team has not yet competed – too many men pulled out of Tbilisi to field a team but the women put in a great effort coming 13th and beating Hong Kong, Romania and Kazakhstan along the way.
What are we asking for?
There are 5 World Cup Team events currently scheduled to the end of this season so the priority is to fund at least the entry fees to those events – 3 for women and 2 for men. That is 2000 Euros (about £1700). Next priority is to fund the extra night’s stay which is 20 (5 teams of 4) fencer hotel nights at an estimated £40/night coming to £800. Third priority is additional food and transport costs for the fencers – £20 for 20 fencer days making £400. Fourth priority is to reimburse the volunteer coaches. In total we would like to raise at least £2900. All the funds raised in this campaign will go to support the senior sabre teams.
Or please head to our donations page to donate via bank transfer and for a gift aid form
So far we have raised a limited amount of non specific funds for which we are very grateful and the bank balance is currently£322.78 as at 17 February 2022.
If you would like to discuss how to donate or how to apply for a donation or to correct/clear up any errors or misunderstandings please do contact us on firstname.lastname@example.org
Can you gift aid it? Yes of course.
Will it all be swallowed up by admin costs? No it will not. The cost of running the website and other admin costs are covered by one of the trustees. Banking charges are inevitable but we try to keep them to a minimum while also making it easy to donate. If you pay by bank transfer that will, of course, minimise the fees but takes a bit more effort on your part.
We have updated our donations page to make it easier for you to donate as much or as little as you wish.
You should now get some idea of what your donations might be able to purchase for fencers who need them. The list is just a short one and will be expanded.
The secure STRIPE donations block makes it easy for you but attracts some fees. Alternatively there are our bank details which is the most effective way of getting all the funds to us but is, of course, a bit more effort.
If you have any preferences or ideas as to what we could, or should, fund you can let us know using the contact form on the donations page. Or, if you have questions about this or anything else, please write using the form on the contacts page. Or just email email@example.com
We really look forward to hearing from you and you will see that we will listen to what you tell us.
We are absolutely delighted that Beth Davidson – known to some as Speedy for very good reason – has volunteered to be TSCCF’s grant funding officer. Beth has a huge amount of experience in designing activities and in raising grant funding and we are sure she will make a huge contribution to moving the charity forward dynamically. Welcome Beth.
Please do get in touch if there is something you think you could contribute to our venture to help sabre fencers. We would love to hear from you.
Sabre fencing and sabre fencers, referees, coaches and clubs have not had a single, sabre focussed, place they can turn to for help.
The Sabre Club Charitable Foundation (TSCCF) hopes to correct that.
We were formally established as a Charitable Incorporated Organisation on 22 May 2020 by the current trustees and it has taken quite a time – sorry about that – to get to this stage.
TSCCF is also the 100% shareholder in The Sabre Club Limited. The limited company is not confined to purely charitable activities but its profits will be passed up to the charity and Gift Aided. It will have its own website soon.
We hope you find the concept and the site useful and will want to both participate and to donate as appropriate.