2017 England Fencing Board Elections
England Fencing have received 4 valid nominations for the 2 vacancies we have for Non-Executive Directors. Therefore it will be for the members who are eligible to vote, to decide who they would like to appoint to the England Board. Ballot papers will be issued to eligible members by the 30th January 2017, in accordance with the published timetable.
Set out below are the full statements that each of the candidates have prepared. Candidates are listed in alphabetical order by surname. The statements below are un-vetted and have been published in full. The information give has been provided personally by each candidate, and they are responsible for the accuracy of the content.
Time for a change
We all clearly love our sport and are passionate about its future. However, in the last year or so I have been asking myself where is our sport going? If my grandchildren want to take up fencing, what will be around for them in years to come. I look at other Olympic sports, and I see vibrant, successful and growing organisations. We are not keeping up, our membership is stagnant, our funding for our top athletes has been withdrawn and we are still perceived as an oldfashioned sport only for the rich. I have been on the EF board for a few years and I learned a lot but also I was a lone voice in trying to move in a different direction to ensure the sustainability and available participation for all within fencing. I have always been told that the membership does not want change but I hope most are now ready to do so. Time is running out if we are not careful we will disappear rather than grow, prosper and reach out to those who have yet to discover this fantastic sport.
Currently we have in effect two NGB’s, can we really afford this? Almost half of your BF membership fees go to England Fencing. Is this wise? is it sensible to divide our very small pot of funding this way? Work is often duplicated and economies of scale are not employed in my view currently. I believe far closer integration between EF and BF should take place, working in unison to take our sport into a new era. One of joint relationships between the current EF and BF boards to ensure your cash is spent on every aspect of fencing. Not sitting in a bank account for a rainy day. That rainy day is here and we need to start supporting our fencing community not just the odd few who are selected to represent England at events. Or the one or two regions that do have a great committee behind them but everyone who is connected to fencing should be able to see the benefits of their members’ fees. From social fencers, through to the elite, a pathway for all to see, follow and understand. Support clubs that want to grow and expand, back the coaches that need a little extra help in developing their knowledge. Referees, regardless of where they are based are given the opportunity to move forward on their chosen path. Listen to the volunteers, who are the life blood of this sport. We all need to work together as a whole.
I want to be re-elected to ensure our sport and my sport is here to stay, grow and thrive. I recognise there are many challenges ahead. But with a collaboration between all parties and an overall concern for all aspects of fencing I believe we will become the sport we all want it to be.
I like to think I have a broad view of our sport. I got involved in the sport initially as a fencing parent well over a decade ago, all three of our children have fenced for England and GB. I am extremely proud to be the co-owner of Fighting Fit Fencing, we have a broad membership at our club, from the occasional social fencer through to several members of the current senior GB squad. Our youngest member has not yet turned four and our eldest is well into their 7th decade! We have had over 5000 children and adults fence at our club in the last 10 years. Our comprehensive schools based program has introduced our sport to many thousands of young people over the years. It has been our pleasure to also deliver fencing to children and adults with every kind of disability and learning challenge. We have trained many homegrown coaches and referees with our first referee and coach gaining international FIE qualification last year.
George (Jed) Beardmore January 2017
As an ex-professional fencer, club administrator and coach, and a current Management Consultant working with FTSE 250 companies, I believe that my experiences in fencing and within business make me well qualified for one of the two advertised positions as a non-exec director of England Fencing.
After more than 20 years of fencing being a huge part of my life I am keen to take this opportunity to build upon my active participation in the sport by becoming involved in the administrative side. I hope that my experiences in fencing and at work will help form a bridge between the grass-root clubs, younger athletes and the board, and that over the four-year term I can play a positive role in the continued development of England Fencing and the sport’s participation levels across the country.
I started fencing (foil initially) at Brentwood School at the age of 8 before transitioning to sabre with the rest of my class at the end of that year. Shortly after, fencing became six hours a week rather than one, and soon after that 20+ hours per week. I trained under the pupillage of Mike Matthews, David Sach and James Williams and have been fortunate to represent England and Great Britain at all levels. I have been a regular competitor for England throughout my fencing career, including winning the U20 Commonwealth Games in India, captaining the England team to victory at the Senior 5 Nations in Edinburgh and winning double gold at the senior Commonwealth Games in Melbourne in 2010.
Between 2006 and 2010 I studied Classics and then Management Studies at Cambridge University, and was Men’s Blues captain in 2009, throughout which we had an unbeaten season. As part of the Cambridge team I fenced both sabre and epee, but was also more widely involved in the running of the University Fencing Club. After leaving University I fenced full time for two years in the run up to the London Olympics, whilst also coaching youth fencers.
I retired from competitive fencing three years ago and have worked for CIL Management Consultants since August 2012, where I now hold the position of Senior Consultant (or Senior Project Manager). CIL is a leading management consultancy that specialises in providing due diligence as part of M&A transactions, and strategy consulting. In that regard I work with private equity investors and management teams of businesses typically with a turnover of £10-£100m on a daily basis, and have also worked with the exec boards of Page Group and TT Electronics (FTSE 250 companies). A typical project lasts 6 weeks, so I have built up considerable experience analysing operational and financial performance, working with management teams, and understanding corporate governance. These experiences will stand me in good stead fulfilling the requirements of the non-exec role, for example, approving the allocation of funds, the control of expenditure, monitoring operations and financial performance and playing a full part in achieving balanced and objective board decisions.
Thank you for your consideration.
I am Peter James and I have been involved in the sport for around 10 years having started rather late in life by modern standards.
I am by profession a teacher though am also a qualified epee and foil coach and use these skills regularly at my local clubs. I have given every aspect of the sport a try from kit maintenance to competition organising. I like to think of myself as an epeeist but can turn my hand to Foil, Epee or even Sabre on occasion. I have refereed at a number of competitions and fenced overseas a couple of times. I regularly run competitions, am computer literate and ensure the results are on the website promptly. I am currently the chairman of the West Midlands Region.
My son also fences and a lot of weekends finds us travelling around the country attending competitions.
After the passing of Matthew Thompson in 2013 I have organised England Fencing’s “Tomorrow’s Achievers” which is England Fencing’s youth development section.
I am willing to turn my hand to anything that England Fencing feel could benefit the grassroots membership which hopefully will increase membership across the country.
I have been involved in fencing now since I started in 1989. Fencing and coaching fencing have provided some of the best moments of my life and provides my livelihood, as I am a full-time fencing coach at Millfield School.
I fenced for England in the old home nations three times and then was team manager for the inaugural Junior Commonwealth Champs in India in 2006.
I would relish the opportunity to start to give back to a sport and organisation, which has given me so much, and, as someone who is involved in almost every level of fencing, almost every day of my life, I feel I have a lot of experience and ideas which can help England Fencing. I am also in the fortunate position to work for an employer, which is very keen to help develop NGBs and as such will be able to afford me time for any tasks required.